Short game key to Cathedral’s golf success

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, May 5, 2009

NATCHEZ — There’s a saying in golf that says “It’s not how you drive, it’s how you arrive.”

Well, if Cathedral golf coach Kurt Russ can drill that into his golfers’ heads this week, they just might be able to take home a championship trophy on Friday.

The Green Wave will participate in the Class 1A State Tournament at Bay Pointe Country Club in Brandon on Thursday and Friday, and Russ said it is the players’ short game that will determine how good they will be.

Email newsletter signup

“Our trouble seems to be from 100 yards in (to the hole),” Russ said. “They have trouble getting up and down, or even getting a bogey sometimes. What I’ve learned over the years is that the key to keep from shooting high scores is getting up and down, and I’m trying to instill that in them.”

Cathedral won the district meet last week with a team score of 349, but Russ said the team must improve that score by quite a bit if they want to compete for a state title.

“I need to top three guys to shoot in the 70s both days and our No. 4 guy to shoot in the mid 80s and we might have a shot,” Russ said. “We’ve got to play perfect golf for two days.”

Cathedral’s Avery Middleton shot a tournament-best 79 at the district tournament while Steve Scarborough and Elliot McCann both shot 85.

However, Russ thinks they can improve those scores for the state tournament.

They can improve 10 shots a piece for sure,” Russ said. “They’re young and as well as they hit the ball, their worst score (on any hole) should be a bogey.”

And in order to improve those scores, it all comes back to the short game, Russ said.

“It’s all about the short game, not how far you hit the ball off the tee,” Russ said. “They’re young, but they’ll learn.”