Boys’ golf season begins with birdies, uneven ground


Katie Whaley

With 16 mph wind shaking tree branches and rustling tall bushes in his background, junior Hudson Dubinski steps up to the eighth hole tee block, looking out onto the par 4 as a fresh start from his previous holes. Dubinski was unfamiliar with the course, Lake of the Woods, and had to pay close attention to the layout and hazardous places. The three-wood in his hands felt reassuring to Dubinski, as it led him to finish out the hole with a birdie and the whole match with a 40. Though, for the match overall, he said, he didn’t have the same feeling.
“Honestly, I played pretty poorly today. I thought the course played pretty difficult, though. Just got some bad breaks and they ended up piling up,” Dubinski said. “[I’m going to work on] pretty much everything. I think my abilities on the course are heading in the right direction, I just need more repetition to develop them.”
The day Dubinski described is Thursday, March 23, where the RBHS boys’ golf team played its second match of the season against Hickman High School (HHS). The competition took place at Lake of the Woods Golf Course and ended with RBHS on top by 20 strokes.
[box title=”Match Results” style=”glass” box_color=”#13c314″ radius=”6″]Rock Bridge: 164
Hickman: 184[/box] Coach Austin Reed first walked onto the course with a frown, upset that RBHS boys would have to fight the biting wind and their opponents in order to win the match. His concerns didn’t stretch much further from there, as he said he is very confident in the each player’s individual abilities and the capability of the team as a whole.
“In this match tonight there was really bad wind. They stayed focused even though the conditions were tough,” Reed said. “Says a lot about a golfer when they can persevere through difficult conditions. Our guys just played really well.
Back on the sixth hole, sophomore Ross Steelman is scratching his head. He had just hit, what he just described as, a terrible shot, and was frustrated. His first shot on the hole was great, but now he was sitting in an unlucky spot with a bad vantage point. Instead of worrying, though, he took in a deep breath and swung smoothly. He watched the ball roll across the green and sink into the hole, a smile instantly appearing on his face.
“I played pretty well today. My putting was really good, and ball striking was better than before. [Though] My irons were a little off today, but I made up for it with short game,” Steelman said. “[I’m going to] take confidence away from this match, and keep working on everything I wasn’t confident in today.”
Stepping off the course, Reed wore a bright smile. He had no complaints, no worries and, blithely, no critiques for his team. They had played their best, he said, and their best was impressive indeed. Reed has two goals this season: to have the team bond and to compete and win the state tournament, and his plan to achieve this is rather straightforward and simple.
“I’m going to be consistent, and I’m going to be their friend, which is what every coach should try to be [with their team]. I get the privilege to coach these young men,” Reed said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how many tournaments they can win, and if they can bring home a state title. That’s our team goal, to win state.”
Have you seen the boys play? The next match is on the third of April for the Columbia Classic.