Golfers create individual routines within team training

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Patrick Adler practices ahead of the 2021 Marquette Intercollegiate. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

With the sport catered to the individual, golf practices are unlike any other sport. This is true for Marquette. The oddly open-ended yet precisely scheduled dynamic the team follows allows players to create habits designed to help them succeed on the course. 

“We start having each guy accomplish a task to get them to the rest of the practice,” assistant coach Jace Long said. “From there, we design our practices around each individual’s needs. We look at everyone’s stats and shift our focus to what they need (to) work on.”

Long said he understands the benefits of having practice focused on each player’s needs.

“We have nine guys whose games are all different,” Long said. “We are trying to develop the players the best we can and it cannot be done the same way for everybody.”

Players, such as graduate student Nicolás Evangelio, appreciate having their own practice schedule.

He said he credits his routines to his success on the course.

“You play the way you prepare,” Evangelio said. “It is something that we continue to work on so that we can be more prepared for tournaments.”

Evidence of this came at the Marquette Intercollegiate Oct. 2-3, when Evangelio finished tied for tenth overall and second on the team with a weekend score of 214.

“He was the leader in putting at our last tournament, which was something he struggled with last year,” Long said.

Sophomore Patrick Adler also has his routines in practice that lead to his success in tournaments.

“We have a system called 168s where we plan out every hour of the week. I have been more productive, and it has even influenced how I plan out how I want to practice each day,” Adler said.

Adler credits the help of his coaches and teammates for how he has changed his approach in practice.

“In high school, I would go to the range and then putt the ball around on the greens,” Adler said. “Coach Long helped to implement drills that would allow me to compete with myself and put myself in pressure situations.” 

He said graduate student Tyler Leach showed him the importance of going through the motions in practice as well.

“Tyler showed me the importance of following my routine when practicing and doing drills. You will be doing your routine when you play, so going through that in practice helps to prepare you for the real deal,” Adler said.

Long said a new aspect of practice this year is the competitions head coach Steve Bailey and himself hold for the players at the end of practice. 

“We want to keep the guys’ competitive fire going, so we compete for the win of the day at the end of each practice,” Long said. “We never tell the players what the competition will be, and we throw anything at them. Driving, putting, wedges, or irons are all in play for the competition.”

Both Evangelio and Adler said they agree the competitions are their favorite parts of practice.

“Golf is an individual sport, but then when we do these drills, we compete with each other and we feel closer as a team,” Adler said.

For Evangelio, he said there is a mind-setting component in these competitions that relate to actual competitions.

“It is important that there is competition in practice because if you are relaxed and not focused in practice, then the tournament will feel different than it should,” Evangelio said. “You have to be ready for high-pressure situations. I like competing for the day’s win because it prepares me for tournaments.”

Long noted that the team’s schedule is jam-packed all week outside the already scheduled five-hour team practice each day. Along with their school workload, the team participates in yoga each Monday and has workouts Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

The team’s intense schedule will help them achieve their goals for this season, which Coach Long helped to set for them at the beginning of the season.

“We have set a goal to be one of the best putting teams in the country. So far, we have improved, and I think the drills we do in practice and our competitive nature have helped us work toward that goal,” Long said.

Next up for the Golden Eagles will be a trip to Kettering, Ohio for the Dayton Flyer Invitational at NCR Country Club Oct. 17-18.

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @hilsontrevor.