The St. Thomas University golf team has a new home course for practice and play, allowing STU golfers an opportunity to improve their skills despite a tough season.
“One new feature this year is a sponsorship with West Hill’s golf course.” said Coach Ed Jeffrey. “It gives STU a home course and a place to play and better prepare for the weekend tournaments.”
West Hills is an 18-hole course, but STU only uses the first nine for practice. It is located off Highway 105 and Brookside Drive. It opened a month ago and is Fredericton’s newest signature course.
“(We) practice once or twice a week in the morning if we can, I’d like to practice more,” said fourth year student Quentin DesRoches. “We go in groups because of class time. It’s hard to go out as a team.
“Sometimes you go out with coaches, they tell us when to go, one of them will be there (with us).
“The coaches make sure how the course plays. They set up who you play with, if you have problems they try to get you back on track,” said DesRoches. “They tell you if you’re taking the club too far back and advise you to slow it down. They are an extra set of eyes.”
The STU golf team is expecting strong competition in the ACAA this season. “Defending national champions Holland College and new entry University of New Brunswick are both field-strong teams this year,” said Jeffrey.
STU hosted the first ACAA tournament at Mactaquac Golf Course Sat. 19. They finished third behind UNB and Holland College. Brandon Pierce led STU with a round of 80. Jake Lloy shot 83 and Doug Macfarlane shot 85.
The following day, UNB hosted a tournament at Kingswood Golf Club. Holland College defeated UNB and the Tommies were placed in third.
Pierce was STU’s top golfer with a 78. Sam Anstey shot 82, Macfarlane shot 84, and Nick Brown and Lloy were both 86.
“Kingswood is a beautiful course, no surprises, (and in) great shape,” said DesRoches. “(But) the conditions were not optimal. Sunday it (rained) for half an hour.”
This year STU is missing three players from last year’s squad who finished 13th at Nationals. “STU is faced with somewhat of a rebuilding year,” said Jeffrey.
This year’s roster includes returning players Brandon Pierce, Jake Lloy, Quentin Desroches, and Doug Macfarlane. New players are Sam Anstey, Jonah Burridge, and Nick Brown.
DesRoches mentors his fellow rookie teammates. “We help them with how the league runs and what to expect in tournaments.”
“All of them golfed before in the summer. They all seem to know what to do out there which is a bonus,” said DesRoches.
What’s important to DesRoches is the mental side of the game. “The way the mental side of the game works in tournament is if you hit a bad shot it stays with you until you make a better shot or good hole. Hopefully it slides away and you regain your focus.”
The ACAA championships are held at Fox Meadows golf course Oct. 03. DesRoches said he is ready.
“I’m going to go in with a better mind set, not going to let bad shots influence my game play. I going out there and grind every shot, (but I) got to work for it.”
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