November 1, 2012

Golf Season Review

Dan Hotham recently sat down to talk about this past season that saw his Owls' Golf Team participate in the USCAA National Championships earlier this fall.

How do you think the season went
?

Overall I was very pleased with our season.  We improved our team stroke average by 4 shots which is huge in golf.  We started strong in our first two matches posting outstanding unbelievable scores of 294 and 303.  However, after those two first matches, we just couldn't get all five players to post scores we knew they were capable of shooting. In every match for the remainder of the season, two or three player would post a good number while the others played below their ability.

Where there any big highlights for you?

Two stand out.  The first was posting a 294 in our first match at home.  I have coached college golf for 30 years, and I have never had a team shoot below 300 in a match.  That was a tremendous effort by the team and although I realize there aren't any records kept, I am certain it's a school record.

The second big highlight would have to be our participation in the USCAA National Golf Championship at Penn State University.  I was very pleased our team had the opportunity to compete in a national event and was proud of their 7th place finish, out of 20 teams.  Additionally, Reynold Brown was second team all-American, Anthony Batchelder won the USCAA national long drive contest, and most importantly Eric Brown and Mike Balmer were named academic all-Americans.
Any golfers that stood out to you this season?

They all had their highlight reel at some point throughout the season. Reynold Brown (So./Essex, CT) was once again the team scoring leader with a 77, was medalist in three events, was named USCAA player of the week the first of September and won second team all-American honors at the national tournament.  Mike Balmer (Jr./New Smyrna Beach, FL) struggled on the course this season posting the highest scoring average in his three years at UMPI.  However, he was out team captain and the first person to praise a teammate for a great round or give a motivational talk to one who was down.  The greatest compliment a golfer can get was given to Mike by other coaches when they shared with me that there players always enjoyed competing with Mike because he was such a gentleman on the course. Anthony Batchelder (Jr./West Enfield, ME) was co medalist at the UMM Invitational, posted a career round of 71 at our invitational and was the national long drive champion.  Allen Connor (So./Stonington, ME) improved his scoring average this season by seven strokes, which is a huge improvement.  He posted some outstanding scores during the season.  Eric Brown (So./Caribou, ME) struggled scoring wise but never quit or got down.  He practiced and improved as the season progressed.  He just could never get to the point where he could put two good nines together .  Jordan Beaulier (So./Ashland, ME) was a class act all season.  Even when he didn't travel with the team he would send a text wishing them well.  I look for Jordan to make a significant contribution to our team next season.

Which was your favorite course that your kids played?

I have never been on a golf course I didn't like.  Our players get an opportunity to play the best courses Maine has to offer - Sunday River, Waterville CC, Val Halla CC, PVCC.  We also play some lesser known courses that may be not as well manicured but are still a good test of golf.

What are you looking to improve on next year?

Consistency.  Next year we will be looking for individuals to be more consistent in their scoring.  If a player can shoot a 75 at PICC, they can shot in the 70's at any course in Maine.  We have some individuals returning who I know will work on their games next summer, and we have some players who haven't committed to UMPI yet but are very interested and will help us achieve that team consistency we are looking for.


-- Me.-Presque Isle Sports Information Department