Rain Check: Weather forces Natchez, Cathedral to abandon season’s first golf match

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

NATCHEZ — It was a bright and sunny Tuesday afternoon when the Cathedral and Natchez golf teams met at Duncan Park for their first golf match of the season. Heavy rains blew in and washed out the plans for golf midway through the first nine-hole round of the season. 

Play stopped at about 3:15 p.m. as golfers walked off the course. Natchez’s Daylen Haywood played with Cathedral’s Aiden Huff. The two are currently the leading golfers for their respective schools, although it could change depending on individual growth. 

Haywood, the defending district champion, plays basketball and had not played a lot of golf over the off-season due to basketball practice. His dad David Haywood is the basketball coach at Natchez High. They played against each other a few times, but the match with Cathedral was Daylen’s first competitive match since last spring. 

Email newsletter signup

“It feels real good. My play was inconsistent over the summer because I was practicing basketball,” Daylen said. “I’m not disappointed by the rainout. I think of it as more time to practice.”

His goal this season is to be a district champion individually and as a team. 

Getting into the swing

Other golfers are focusing on improving their golf game as the season progresses. Cathedral junior Marissa Star said she would like to have an almost perfect swing, so she could play golf more and enjoy the game more. 

Her first year of high school golf would have been her freshman year, but COVID shut down the season. Since the end of her sophomore season, her game has improved considerably. 

She said her swing developed well. Now, she is trying to get little mechanical things, like leaving the clubface open at impact, corrected. She was happy to be back out on the course Tuesday. 

“It was exciting. I used to play golf a lot when I was younger with my dad and my sister,” Starr said. “Getting to play the game as a high schooler is fun.” 

Natchez and Cathedral will make up the match next Tuesday, March 1, at 2 p.m. at Duncan Park. The Bulldogs will turn around and play Franklin County on March 3 at 2 p.m. at Duncan Park. 

One last round

Bulldog Head Coach Richard Bellar is coaching in his 32nd season. For 26 years, he coached golf in Indiana, and he has coached for six years with the Bulldogs and plans to retire after the season. 

“My goal is to get the kids interested in golf. If they can stick with it and get successful, they can play it the rest of their life,” Bellar said. “I bought a house on a golf course in Mobile. Golf is a game you can compete in your entire life. I love it, and I want the kids to enjoy it too.”