NP golfers have lofty goals

Friday, April 12, 2013
North Putnam junior Jake Smith sinks a putt during a tournament last season. (Banner Graphic Archive/GRANT WIEMAN)

The North Putnam boys' golf team started the year off with a pair of wins earlier this week, which is cause for optimism.

The golfers and their coach have been optimistic since before the season even began.

"They've come in this year with a mentality that they've all done something extra that they didn't do the year before," NPHS coach Linda Patrick said. "They feel like they've greatly improved, and that's why they're looking forward to this upcoming season."

The Cougars lost just one senior from last year's team and bring in a number of talented young players, including freshman Austin Judy, who led the NPHS team with a 40 in his first high school round.

Juniors Mason Asher and Jake Smith, as well as sophomore Danny Smith, each spent time working in the off-season in an effort to get the squad to the next level.

"I've got four or five boys that are really dedicated and really work at it out there on their own," Patrick said. "Three worked through winter. A couple played in junior golf last summer."

The biggest thing holding them back last year, Patrick said, was consistency, and she believes they've worked through that.

"One of our real weaknesses was we were really up and down, up and down," Patrick said. "I had kids that would shot a 40 one time and shoot a 50 the next ... As a team, that's what I'm working on. You've got to be more consistent -- get that short game under control, and get those putts under control."

The Cougars are hoping the hard work will translate into postseason success with their eyes set on reaching the regional round.

"They feel like it's finally all coming together for this team this year," Patrick said. "Their first and foremost goal is to get out of sectionals and get to regionals."

NPHS has been at the extremely difficult Martinsville sectional for the past few years but they'll move to Crawfordsville this season.

A slightly less-talent section could pay dividends for a team hoping for a postseason run.

"As a team, they feel a lot more comfortable going into sectionals this year," Patrick said. "They all know where we're heading and they're striving to get there."

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