2009 Calvin Men’s Golf Previw
Saturday, August 08, 2009
After a sixth place conference finish in 2007 and a fifth place finish in 2008, the Calvin men’s golf team is seeking to continue to move up the MIAA ladder this fall. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen but the Knights do return three individuals that cracked the top-25 in the final MIAA individual rankings last fall.
“The building process is working with our program,” said Calvin men’s golf coach Brian Bolt earlier this summer. “We will be deeper and more complete this year, as this is the first year in three that we will have seniors on the team and have made room for a strong freshmen class.”
Leading the list of returning Calvin golfers is junior Jess Hendriksma (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) who missed a spot on the All-MIAA second team by just five strokes, finishing the year with an MIAA season-average of 78.0 strokes-per-round, matching the seventh-best single-season total in Calvin men’s golf history. Hendriksma moved into Calvin’s No. 1 spot in the lineup last fall and proceeded to fire six rounds under 80 including a round of 74 that tied for 10th at the sixth MIAA tournament of the fall season.
“One of our goals in every tournament is to have at least one golfer shoot 75 or lower,” said Hendriksma in a post-season interview last fall. “Our team focus is that all five golfers in our lineup go into a tournament with the thought that they will be the one to reach that goal rather than depend on one guy. That attitude takes a lot of pressure off of each individual because we share the expectation.”
Another team goal according to Hendriksma is to have four of Calvin’s five golfers in each tournament post scores in the 70’s. The Knights achieved the feat twice in league play this fall and showed glimpses of doing more. “We showed signs of reaching that goal throughout the season but we never quite put it all together on a consistent basis,” said Hendriksma who placed 19th in the 2007 MIAA standings (80.3 strokes-per-round).
“If you want to move into the top half of the league (team) standings, consistency is key.”
Other returning letterwinners who placed in the top 25 of the MIAA standings last year are seniors Jon Kuiper (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) and junior Eric Doezema (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian High School). Kuiper finished 18th with an average of 78.7 strokes-per-round. Doezema finished 25th with an average of 80.0 strokes-per-round. Doezema has posted back-to-back top-25 finishes as he placed 13th in the 2007 MIAA standings with an average of 78.8 strokes-per-round. Kuiper has back-to-back top-25 finishes as well, placing 25th in 2007.
The roster is filled with other veterans including seniors Tyler Smies (Sheboygan, WI/Sheboygan County Christian HS) and Kyle Harvey (Willard, OH/Willard HS) who both have spent time in Calvin’s starting lineup during their collegiate careers.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomores Jake DeBoer (Byron Center/South Christian HS), Kyle Vander Wal (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) and Brennan Volbeda (Holland/Holland Christian HS).
The schedule once again begins with the Olivet Comet Lou Collins Classic at the Bedford Valley Country Club (Sept. 4 & 5). The MIAA season begins on September 9 with Olivet hosting the first MIAA outing of the year. The outing scheduled to be played at the Bedford Valley Country Club will be the first of eight league outings with Calvin hosting a league outing on October 5 at the Watermark Country Club. The Knights will also participate in the Red Poling Invitational on October 6 in Dearborn.