Men’s golf heads into postseason with ample confidence

Men’s golf heads into postseason with ample confidence

Men’s golf heads into postseason with ample confidence
April 13
22:13 2018

North Texas often enters tournaments as underdogs when facing some of the nationally ranked teams in the country. To some teams it’s a daunting challenge to face this level of competition, but the Mean Green have prided themselves on embracing the challenge this presents.

This North Texas team was ranked No. 20 at one point in the early part of the season but have sat just outside the top 50 for a majority of the season.

It starts with their mindset according to head coach Brad Stracke.

“The team’s improved dramatically with their mindset, [considering] who we’ve competed against and beat,” Stracke said. “They know we can compete with anybody, it’s just a matter of playing well and to the best of their ability, they’ve improved a lot throughout the year.”

A part of their confidence is from the challenging schedule they have faced throughout the year. Despite having a two-time Conference USA Golfer of the Week in junior Ian Snyman and other quality players, they often do not finish as high as the ranked competition, but this does not bother them. They shoot their course and it has gotten them to the highest ranked team in C-USA.

In their most recent tournament, the Aggie Invitational, the Mean Green faced eight teams ranked in the top 31 in the country and finished only four shots back of the No.6 team in the country, Texas Tech University.

Stracke believes the team has done well to learn this no fear mindset as they continue to grow their game along with their confidence.

“Each tournament they’ve gotten better, they’ve learned what their process is and their strengths and weaknesses and improving on those weaknesses,” Stracke said. “This has just made them more confident.”

Having a short memory is something the Mean Green stresses in every competition because golf is an individual sport where the individual mentality can alter their swing or approach to a hole.

Stracke said that it’s a hard trait to teach coaching golf, but the team has done well to learn to forget the bad and continue with the tournament, regardless how they shoot on a specific hole.

It has been a long process for Stracke and the team, and it’s not been easy to learn, but once the players embrace forgetful mindset they can exert their best game on the course more often.

“It’s just part of the game to forget the bad shots and remember the good ones, it’s a big part of the process that we talk about,” Stracke said. “I teach a post shot routine that I always talk about, you have to hit a good shot before you leave, and remember you made that last shot. It’s a constant battle that these guys have to work on all the time.”

It’s a battle the team is slowly winning, which will be essential heading into the Conference USA tournament in the coming weeks.

Over time, the mindset Stracke teaches on and off the course is translating to their games in tournaments.

“Their improvement on their mindset [improves] tournament to tournament,” Stracke said. “We talk about subconscious and the process, just a lot of things we go over all year just to get the guys at the highest level possible for the end of year and after they leave college. The confidence is a never-ending field and the mind in the sport of golf.”

As the season comes to a close, and the team nears the conference tournament, the confidence of the team they work on week-in and week-out is an aspect of the game they hope ca nhelp them make a championship push.

The conference tournament will take place starting on Sunday, April 22 in Texarkana, Arkansas. North Texas is currently ranked first in C-USA further contributing to the confidence the team has.

They enter the tournament ranked No. 63 in the country, the highest in C-USA according to Golfstat.com.

“They know they can compete with anybody,” Stracke said. “I know we are in really good shape going into the conference championship and going into the postseason.”

Featured image: Dallas, Texas, March 12: University of North Texas Mean Green Men’s Golf at Four Seasons golf course during the Spring Break Challenge. 2018 (Photo Rick Yeatts Photography/Colin Mitchell)

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Joshua Paveglio

Joshua Paveglio

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