Men's golf comes out swinging
The Luther College men’s golf team came out on top of the UW-Eau Claire Invitational on Monday, Sept. 24. With a two-day total of 618, they finished just one stroke ahead of nationally-ranked Gustavus Adolphus and three strokes ahead of nationally-ranked St. John’s University.
The team has gotten off to a strong start thanks to the added power of two transfers and the continued hard work of returning golfers. Head Coach Scott Fjelstul (‘83) had nothing but good things to say about the team.
“It’s been a really good start to the season,” Fjelstul said. “They’re progressing really well. They’ve worked really hard over the summer to prepare for the fall season and continued that here in our practices this fall, and I’m really excited about this team.”
According to Fjelstul, two members of the team who have had a large impact are transfers Andrew Peter (‘14) from Iowa State and Elliot Horst (‘15) from Rockford College. In addition, returning two-time all conference performer Tobias Kohl (‘14) is an essential leader on a young team and has his sights set high for the postseason next spring.
“I finished second in the conference tournament last year,” Kohl said. “This year I want to win the whole thing. Our team is much better than last year so we definitely want to win conference, and if we win conference we go to nationals.”
Both Kohl and Joel Bruns (‘14) cited the taxing mental aspect of golf as the most difficult hurdle to overcome during tournaments.
“The toughest aspect is when you are starting a tournament and you make a mistake and you make a double bogey,” Bruns said. “You really just have to be positive. Just keep fighting, because your score may count. Even with your poor start, someone may be struggling just as badly as you.”
A typical week sees many hours of practice during the week and a two-day tournament on the weekend. While many people may see golf as an easy sport, Bruns believes the time spent meticulously preparing for competition says otherwise.
“It’s really a difficult thing,” Bruns said. “It might not be physically challenging, but you have to hone your skills: all these little angles, all these degrees, all these things you have to keep mind of, and you have to do that while you’re under pressure and you have to do it 5 hours a day.”
Despite all the painstaking repetition, the golfers enjoy the time spent on the road with one another.
“My favorite part is going out on golf trips with the guys,” Kohl said. “It’s always fun because we all forget about homework and school for at least two days.”