The late golf legend Ben Hogan is probably smiling down on the Indian River golf team after they trounced Sussex Central 178-236 at Bear Trap Dunes, on March 22.
Indian River shot so well that five of their golfers outscored Sussex Central’s top golfer. Junior Justin Albright earned the right as medalist by shooting a match-low of 42 strokes on the back nine at Bear Trap.
Junior Craig Conover followed suit, completing the nine holes with a score of 44, while sophomores Richard Webster and Matt Binsted shot 45 and 47, respectively.
“It was really amazing that Richard was able to go out there and compete because he has been sick as a dog for a couple days now,” said head coach Neil Beahan.
Senior captain Jordan Hale shot a 48, but wasn’t discouraged by not leading the team with the lowest score. “Jordan showed great leadership out there today. He was the first to encourage and congratulate his teammates,” said Beahan.
Beahan was not only encouraged by his golfers’ great play but by their willingness to improve and to help each other on the course.
“After the match I had at least five guys come to me to say that they wanted to and could do better — they are really hyped for this season,” said Beahan.
Golfers in competition aren’t allowed any input or advice from their coaches during a match, so it has benefited Indian River that their team communicates so well when paired up.
“Those guys communicate with each other really well, and are able to give the pointers that I’m not allowed to give,” said Beahan. “Besides that, they’re great kids — it’s actually a good thing when half of my kids were a little late due to honor meetings.”
Despite the fact that it was the first match of the season and there may have been some butterflies, the Indians weren’t really sure which course they would play, the front nine or back. “It was kind of up in the air where we would play because Bear Trap had a tournament going on, so they took the front-nine. But they were more than happy to have us out there which feels great — we really appreciate all they have done for us,” said Beahan.
With the first match out of the way, the Indians will turn their attention to their next match versus Cape Henlopen, on April 12. The Indians’ golf team won’t spend that time twiddling their thumbs or boasting how great they did in their last match, they’ll work on some of the intricacies of the game.
Thus far the Indians have relentlessly practiced their chipping and putting — keys to a successful golf game-but have now turned their attention to game management.
“Right now I think we need to position the ball instead of trying to crush the ball — use that three-wood instead of the driver,” said Beahan.
Though the Indians exceeded Beahan’s expectations by shooting a team score of 178, instead of 185, in the match versus Sussex Central — they must trim their score even further compete against Dover and Caesar Rodney.