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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Golfers use Erin Hills experiences to succeed

Five Golden Eagles played at Erin Hills over the summer in the Wisconsin State Amateur. They are using what they learned in this weekend’s Marquette Intercollegiate.
Marquette practices at Erin Hills before the Intercollegiate. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette golf is no stranger to Erin Hills.

The championship golf course, located 45 minutes northwest of campus, will host Marquette’s flagship home event, the Intercollegiate, for the eighth time this Labor Day weekend. The Intercollegiate runs Sept. 3 through 5 and features eight teams that made the NCAA regionals last spring, two of which, Chattanooga and Texas A&M, made runs to the championship.

The course hosted the Wisconsin State Amateur this past summer, in which five Golden Eagles participated.

While the team remains familiar with the 7,700-yard track, varying conditions make its playability a mystery each time players tee it up on the 553-yard par five first hole.

Graduate student Josh Robinson, a competitor in both tournaments, said he is all too familiar with the rigor of the course, which has hosted many professional tournaments including the 2017 U.S. Open.

“The course is going to be a grind due to the wind and other factors that protect the course,” Robinson said. “You are going to hit some shots in the rough, and knowing when to take your medicine instead of trying to be a superhero is one of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned since my first year.”

Robinson’s experience with the course played a role in his success at the State Amateur, where he finished 14th at +12 over his four rounds. He tied for sixth-best in the field in scoring on the back nine, even over the tournament.

Robinson said he hopes he can replicate his scoring on the back nine in the Intercollegiate.

“The back nine set up well for me at the State Amateur, and I was able to roll some putts that week,” Robinson said. “Even though the front seems to play tougher, the course is the same throughout; I have to pick my targets and put the ball on the green.”

First-year Mason Schmidtke said having a weekend with consistent ball-striking can lead to success on Erin Hills.

“In the four rounds at the State-Am, not a single one played similar to the round prior,” Schmidtke said. “If you are hitting the ball solid, you can get around the course because the wind can play any direction due to the lack of tree cover.”

To combat the course, Schmidtke said it’s all about patience.

“I am going to stay patient, especially with some of the approach shots,” Schmidtke said. “The greens have multiple tiers, so dialing in and finding the right tier is a way to avoid three putts.”

Schmidtke will play on the college stage for the first time at the Intercollegiate, and even though nerves present themselves, he said he knows the team has his back.

“I keep trying to remind myself that I belong here, and I know the team will have my back regardless of what happens on the course,” Schmidtke said. “It’s been so fun meeting these guys, and they have brought competitive energy into practices and have shown me how to hit different shots.”

Alongside Robinson and Schmidtke, first-year Ryan Banas, sophomore Will Hemauer and assistant coach Jace Long competed in the State Amateur. Schmidtke was the low finisher for the Marquette participants, tying for 11th at +11.

Long said he utilized his extensive playing experience in the State Amateur to help prepare the team for the Intercollegiate.

“Having that experience and getting to know how the course is playing from firmness to conditions and doing everything we can to keep everyone prepared will allow us to be ready to go on the first tee each day,” Long said.

This will be Long’s first Intercollegiate at Erin Hills and second as an assistant with Marquette.

Long said playing in the event allows him to step into his players’ shoes.

“It’s a great perspective for me to play in it because I get to see what the guys face on the course,” Long said. “We get an extra look at how they play the course as competitors, and we can give them suggestions on how to go about the course and play holes certain ways.”

Even with the team’s course preparation, Schmidtke said the best practice comes from playing in tournaments like the State Amateur throughout the summer.

“Summer play is so important because you want to find the best tournaments and competition,” Schmidtke said. “The more reps you get under pressure, the more comfortable you get in a situation like that. It’s harder to get better if you do not work under those situations.”

To be successful at Erin Hills for the Intercollegiate, Robinson said the team’s preparation will have to be put into action.

“We are going to do the same thing we always do, prepare and execute,” Robinson said. “We must be the most prepared team going out there, and if we are 100% committed to what we do, we can go out there, put in the work and have fun.”

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

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About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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