The Telluride High School golfers watched coach Jeff Arenson submit their score sheets before they quickly stepped out toward the school vehicle in the parking lot at the Chipeta Golf Course in Grand Junction Friday.
After momentum-building rounds at the annual JV Golf Championships, the young Miners carried smiles along with their clubs.
“I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Telluride’s Philip Hulst. “I had a good group of kids to play with, and I shot 100. So for me, that was pretty good.”
Teammate Quinn Carlson was equally happy with his round of golf on the 18-hole short municipal course located on Orchard Mesa, south of downtown Grand Junction.
“I shot 101; that was good for me,” Carlson said. “It was the easiest course I’ve every played … par 59.”
The Chipeta course measures 3,845 yards with a mix of par 3s and 4s, and a minimum of troublesome hazards. The Grand Junction course long has been a favored location for the Western Slope’s annual junior varsity championships.
Golfers from 14 high schools, including Telluride, participated in last week’s JV tournament.
“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” said Telluride’s Emmett Murphy. “I wasn’t hitting very consistently. But towards the end, I started to figure it out. It was a good course to practice short-game shots.”
He said he was pleased with his round of 105 on a morning with moderate temperatures and only light winds.
With the graduation of a large class of seniors last year, the Miners are fielding a youthful roster of freshmen and sophomores in the fall 2019 season, along with one junior.
“We lost six seniors last year,” said Telluride head coach Jeff Arenson. “So I’m trying to recruit. I’ve got six freshmen out, and they’re excited about the game.”
Three of the underclassmen joined Arenson at the JV Championships.
“I’m doing more teaching this year,” Arenson said with a nod to the experienced seniors from a year ago. “But they are picking it up quick. They want to get better.”
He said it’s gratifying to watch young golfers acquire an appetite for the game.
“They are enjoying the game, loving the game,” Arenson said. “They’re asking their parents to play on weeks. Now, it’s a matter of cultivating that.”
He added that with young golfers every round, every practice session can be productive.
With the youthful roster, Arenson modified the golf schedule this fall.
For example, the Miners opted out of tournaments set for the first two weeks of classes. With so many freshmen, Arenson said he wanted the students to get settled into high school before traveling to golf tournaments.
The Miners still have a pair of tournaments remaining in the regular season.
In the meantime, he said, the Miners are playing and practicing.
“They really want to get better. And I think they’re enjoying all the things you can do with the sport,” said Arenson, himself an avid golfer. He celebrated his summer with a hole-in-one.