Men’s golf no stranger to road


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

By the end of the regular season, the Iowa men’s golf team will have traveled as far north as Chicago, as far south as West Palm Beach, Florida, as far east as Durham, North Carolina, and as far west as Tempe, Arizona.

On Wednesday, the Hawkeyes headed for Atlanta, where they will play in the U.S. Collegiate Championship today through Oct. 19. This tournament represents one of many associated with lots of travel.  

In addition to taking up time, the travel schedule presents challenges associated with balancing academics while focusing on golf.

“We have to focus on golfing, eating right, sleeping enough, and on top of that, school comes first,” sophomore Carson Schaake said. “People look at us as golfers, but forget that we’re students, too.”

Schaake says communication is the key in balancing academics and athletics. This includes emailing professors and doing schoolwork in advance, as well as making up what they’ve missed.

The later tournaments run, the later the team gets back to Iowa City. The Hawkeyes experienced that firsthand last week after coming home late from the Rod Myers Invitational.

“That just comes with being a Division I golfer,” Schaake said. “The long hours of traveling take time to get used to. But the team has done well in terms of time management, which has an effect on the course.”

Conversely, there are several benefits of the travel schedule the golf team has, including experiencing life in a different city and playing on unique courses.

“So far, the traveling experience has been pretty awesome,” sophomore Raymond Knoll said. “Last week’s tournament in Durham was our first tournament we flew to this season, and it was an adjustment.

“But it was very cool to play on Bermuda grass. It’s a completely different style of golf. The setup is different than what you’d see in the Midwest.”

Schaake agreed that the traveling experience has been positive overall, and his favorite part has been playing in different, unique tournaments. He noted that the aspect of a college sports team traveling together has been enjoyable.

Plus, the travel brings unique opportunities. The Hawkeyes happened to run into PGA Tour professional Zach Johnson on Sunday.

“We were walking away from our terminal to charge our phones and laptops,” Knoll said. “And I made eye contact with him and said, ‘Is that Zach?’ He said, ‘Yes it is.’ ”  

“He was glad to see us. He was hanging out with his wife and kids. He’s a Hawkeye fan, so he looked forward to seeing us just as much as we looked forward to seeing him. We also got to talk golf with him, which was cool.”

Head coach Tyler Stith emphasized that the Hawkeyes are accustomed to the travel.

The long trip to Atlanta this weekend will just be another city the team can check off its list.

“Most of our players spend quite a bit of time during the summer playing national tournaments,” Stith said. “The traveling is one of the privileges of being a college athlete.”

Follow @NickVittore on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s golf team.

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.