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Sandy Journal

Jordan Boys Gearing Up for Golf

Aug 24, 2016 03:34PM ● By Billy Swartzfager

Jordan golfers Jacob Reese, Rhett Hansen and Drew Olson write their scores during tryouts for 2016. —Billy Swartzfager

By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]

The boys golf team at Jordan High School is about to embark on the 2016 season. Their goals are the same as what they were a year ago: qualify for the state tournament. To get there, they have to play well throughout the year, playing their game one shot at a time and racking up wins one tournament at a time. If they can do that, with more steps forward than backward, the team should qualify to compete in the finale at the end of the season. According to head coach Kyle Stailey, the hopes are also to win region and win state. 

“Our goals are always the same: qualify for state, win region, win state,” Stailey said.

The team this year will be led by Zach Cheney, a junior, who is the younger brother of last year's region champion Chipper Cheney. Zach will be accompanied by a few other varsity golfers — Alex Chift, Scott Robinson and Tyler Nelson — who are all expected to play well and contribute to the team’s goals and success. 

Many of the young golfers spend the summer playing a lot of golf, competing in junior golf tournaments throughout the state of Utah. That is one way they keep an edge, as noted by the coach. 

“How much they play during the summer usually determines how much success they’ll have during the season,” he said. 

Another way the team sharpens its skills is by practicing on the range. Now that the summer has officially ended and team practices are back on the schedule, the group will spend a lot of time on various aspects of the game, always looking to shave a stroke or two from their final score. They spend half of their time on the green, putting and working on chip shots to solidify their short games. The rest of their time is spent practicing tee shots, course management and club selection. The team works with a teaching pro, Randy Collett. 

“He has been a real asset for our team over the years,” Stailey said.

All of these facets combined and applied are what keep the golfing Beetdiggers moving forward on the course — that and an approach from the coach that focuses on the kids having fun and trying their hardest. Stailey also speaks to his team about having a short memory, a key for any golfer if they wish to be successful. 

“I tell them each time,” he said, “the last hole or last shot no longer matters, good or bad.” 

With that philosophy, the coach is able to see his golfers overcome adversity while on the course by giving great efforts and forgetting the fairways and greens they left behind. 

With the tactics the team applies in addition to the attitude they carry, they are poised to finish well. They placed fourth in the region last season, where they were expected to land, and should do as well if not better this year. By emphasizing the positive characteristics in competition, the team will accomplish much more than winning, which they may very well do. They will leave the course at the end of a tournament, the end of the season, having shown great integrity, which is another piece of their practice routine. Playing smart and playing the right way is a perfect combination to bring out the best golfers possible, and that is what Jordan will need should they meet the goals the have to begin the year.