High school golf in Moose Jaw looking for renewal
Golf at the high school level in Moose Jaw is in rebuilding mode.
“If you look at my program at Peacock and Todd (Searcy)’s at Central, we basically have (Grade) 9s and 10s. That is all we have started,” said Martin Holzer, coach for Peacock. “Vanier has the stronger group that went to provincials and they ended up in third place. They have a couple guys back next year. It just fluctuates from year to year.”
No local golfers won any individual medals at the Moose Jaw Invitational golf tournament held at the Hillcrest on Tuesday afternoon.
Vanier did win third place in the team event, however.
Riley Grona from Coronach won the individual male award and Shania Noll, also from Coronach won the female individual award. There were over 70 golfers that participated in the tournament.
“I have known those (Coronach) kids a long time and they get up every morning and they have two choices — they either go motorcycling on the track or they go to the golf course,” said Holzer. “Those are the two things in town. So, many just live on the golf course and naturally they become better.”
That is the same approach that Holzer would like to see in Moose Jaw, but he understands that golf struggles against all the other sports and opportunities that are available to athletes in the city.
“Golf really fights is baseball, dance, soccer and even the other high school sports, like track and field,” said Holzer. “I have adjusted our times and we try and do the best we can.”
To try and attract more young golfers, Trevor McPherson at the Hillcrest has some promotional initiatives, including lowering membership fees and allowing free golf, with exceptions.
“We have actually increased our junior program, which will hopefully bode well for the future,” said Holzer.
Holzer did explain that many of his golfers did get an early start, around Easter with mats in the gym, which helped them in the tournament.
“We use those to start off, get them making contact and working on their swing,” said Holzer. “But so many come in with no competition experience. Most are social golfers and now have to turn around and become competitive, which is totally different.”
Holzer does see some improvements throughout the school programs in Moose Jaw, but now with summer here, it is on the athletes to continue to progress in their game and skills.
It is about commitment from the kids through the rest of the summer so they are ready for the fall,” he said.