Steamboat Springs High School golfer Casey Weston chips onto the practice green at Haymaker Golf Course on Tuesday while preparing for tournaments in Craig and Steamboat Springs this week.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs High School golfer Casey Weston chips onto the practice green at Haymaker Golf Course on Tuesday while preparing for tournaments in Craig and Steamboat Springs this week.

Sailors golf team readies for tournaments in Craig, Steamboat

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Steamboat Springs High School golfer Erik Sobeck chips onto the practice green at Haymaker Golf Course while preparing for tournaments in Craig and Steamboat Springs this week.

— With just two weeks remaining until the Steamboat Springs High School boys golf team competes in the class 4A regional tournament, head coach Steve Dodson’s team has some critical matchups starting Wednesday in Craig.

The Sailors’ 17 varsity and JV players will face about seven schools competing in Moffat County High School’s tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Then on Thursday, Steamboat will host 13 schools and 92 players at Haymaker Golf Course, its lone home tournament of the season.

Dodson, who is in his 10th year leading the Sailors, is optimistic about the team’s preparation in practice since taking second at the Grand Junction area tournament Aug. 27.

“We’ve had a real good week of practice this last week,” Dodson said. “We talked a lot about course management, trying to cut down on unforced errors, cut down on penalty strokes, just play a more clean 18-hole round of golf. Come regionals, that’s what you’re going to have to do if you want to move on to state. You’ve got to play a clean round of golf.”

The four tournaments between Wednesday and regionals at Gypsum Creek Golf Course on Sept. 16 and 17 will go a long way in determining the four varsity players who will compete to qualify for the state championships.

Dodson worried his team might have peaked too early a year ago, causing the Sailors’ to struggle at the regional tournament. This year, senior Casey Weston and junior Brandon Martin think the team hasn’t quite reached its potential — a good sign, both said.

“Some of our team, it’s only like one problem with each of us,” Martin said. “It’s either putting one day or midiron shots or tee shots. It just really depends on one thing. If we all get that going, then we are definitely going to do good.”

Dodson is reluctant to put lofty expectations on his group, especially with major tournaments looming. Weston and company have bought in.

“I’m just expecting it to kind of start coming together for myself and the team,” Weston said. “And I can see us start to hit a stride that we haven’t so far.”

As far as courses are concerned, assistant coach Andrew Donner said the vast differences between Wednesday in Craig and Thursday at Haymaker should bode well for the squad moving into the season’s final stretch.

“They’re two totally distinctive and different golf courses,” Donner said. Yampa Valley Golf Course "is more of a traditional tree-lined style course with a lot of doglegs and a lot shorter than Haymaker. It has a lot smaller greens. Probably going to be faster greens over there and more sloped.

“I think it makes them better golfers.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204 or email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com

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