For instance, defending Class 3A state champion Gatesville counts four fulltime golfers, plus their star quarterback.
A quick glance at the Rockdale golf roster finds five football players and just one full-time golfer, sophomore Kirk Williams.
One can argue that Rockdale can take a warrior’s mentality with them to the state tournament in this gentile sport because it takes a different kind of mind set to get ready for a football playoff game.
Golf—more than any other sport—requires a certain mental resolve to be successful.
Rockdale golf coach Earl Gandy explains.
“I think that the edge comes in the way of the competitiveness that each one of those kids possess,” he said. “ Each of them want to win and will grind their way back to good golf when things aren’t going well.
Rockdale will need to draw on all its faculties to compete at this level Thursday and Friday. The Class 3A field includes defending state champion Gatesville as well as 2008 champion Graham.
Graham has been to the state tournament for five consecutive years.
Also in attendance will be Prosper and Wharton—both returnees from 2009—Texarkana Pleasant Grove and Fredericksburg.
Of course a strange golf course always plays a role in how well a team does at the post-season level, but in the Class 3A tournament, nowhere does it play a bigger part.
The 6,749-yard, par 71 Roy Kizer Golf Course—which sits next to Jimmy Clay in south Austin—is a links style layout that harkens back to the origins of golf in Scotland when it was called “gof”.
There are no trees, no sand traps and just a little bit of water.
There are however, acres of grass bunkers protecting every green.
Think British Open.
The Tigers toured the course last Wednesday. None had played the course before.
“As far as Kizer goes I think our kids are going to have the approach that we have to hit the ball in the right spot and be smart about our game,” he said. “They have seen it once in a practice round now and they were taking notes and trying to figure out the best way to play each hole.”
As far as any additional pressure being the first boys team to represent Rockdale in the state tournament, that’s all disappeared at regional.
“Pressure? The pressure is off,” Gandy said. “ The pressure was in playing at regional and trying to get to state.
“We just need to go out and compete for two days and let the chips fall where they may. Nobody expected us to be where we are, so lets just keep surprising people and go get us a medal at the State Tournament.
Patrick David will play in the state tournament after beating out Casey Burrough in a playoff for the fifth spot. David outshot Burrough 82-80. Burrough was a regional qualifier as a medalist... Gandy is sending his golfers out on the course by class Thursday. Sophomores Patrick David and Kirk Williams will tee off first, followed by junior Tyler Wright and then seniors Waylon Boyd and Lance Loewe.
What—UIL Class 3A State Golf
Tee Time 8 a.m.
Where—Roy Kizer Golf Course
6,749 yards, par 71
Who—Rockdale, Diboll, Graham*,
Gatesville#, Texarkana Pleasant
Grove, Prosper*, Wharton*, Fredericksburg.
* 2009 entrant
# Defending state champion
How to get there—Take the toll
road out of Hutto. Take Hwy 71/Airport
exit through Del Valle to IH35.
On 35, take exit 229 toward Stassney.
Turn left on Stassney, then
right on Jimmy Clay Dr. Course is
on the right. Distance: 72 miles.