With golf season fast approaching, the Apaches have a long road ahead of them if they want to get back to the national tournament, at which they ranked in the top 10 last season.
The dynamics of the sport of golf are a lot different than any other sport Tyler Junior College has to offer. Not only are the athletes competing as a team, but also individually, because they compete against one another.
“Winning as a team is important, but since I’m trying to transfer, it looks even better if I win a tournament individually,” said sophomore golfer Maraea Durie.
The Apaches have turned a usually very solitary sport into a close-knit team with the men appearing at nationals every year since 1992, and the women every year since 1999.
“I’ve been very fortunate over the years to have very good teams,” said Head Coach Sandy Terry on his continued success leading the Apaches to nationals.
Another thing unique to golf is that a player can practice it without a teammate or anything except a set of clubs and a course or driving range.
“My favorite thing about golf is that you can train by yourself. You don’t need someone to help you train like other sports,” said Durie.
“I expect our team to win most of our tournaments, because we have a strong team this semester. Last semester our team wasn’t as strong. Now we all shoot around the same scores,” Durie said. “Hopefully we’ll get up there in nationals.”
The men’s team had a strong fall season as well; scoring in the upper half of every single tournament they attended.
Consistency is a struggle for every sport at the junior college level. Once athletes get comfortable with the program, they have to transfer to a university. This doesn’t seem to be the case with TJC’s golf team, having repeatedly placed in the top 10 at nationals for 20-plus years.
Coach Terry said that this spring season should be just as good as last, if not better. He anticipates the team getting to nationals, as they had previously.
With almost every tournament out of town, there isn’t a fan base for the golf team at TJC.
“it’s hard to expect people to drive all the way to Aledo, which is a two-hour drive,” Coach Terry said.
This spring season of golf kicks off with a tournament for the men’s team on Feb 18. The women’s first tournament is March 4.
By. Carley Handford