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PHCC golf looks towards bright future

April 28, 2014

When Chatmoss Country Club golf pro and former Carlisle School golf coach Robert Weinreth decided to return to coaching after taking a year off, he knew there would be some challenges.1174919_627099193988370_26294113_n

He didn’t expect the type of challenges he faced this season as Patrick Henry Community College’s first golf coach.

Weinerth began the school year with eight golfers. By the time spring rolled around, four were left, though he said he felt those four put the team in the best position to win.

“The four I had didn’t present any problems with work ethic and grades,” he said. “I think there was a little more pressure put on that No. 4 golfer, and hopefully we won’t be in that position again.”

The four had ties to the area. Freshmen Tyler Shough graduated from Patrick County High School, and Cody Prilliaman is an alumnus of Bassett. Sophomore Jake Drake attended Franklin County, and freshman Dustin Roberts graduated from Staunton River. Another Patrick County alum, Noah Harris, played during the fall.

Still, the Patriots managed to finish second in the Region X, Division II tournament the weekend of April 12 at Emerald Golf Club in New Bern, N.C.

Drake finished fourth, with a two-day score of 154 (10-over par). Though he started the season as the No. 7 golfer and didn’t travel to the first two tournaments during the fall, he became Weinerth’s No. 2 man in the spring. Shough and Roberts finished in a tie for fifth at 155.

“I think we all knew we had the talent to play well, it was just having it all come together in the same tournament,” Drake said. “I think we finally did that in the region tournament.”

Although the Patriots finished 42 strokes behind Surry Community College in the tournament, the team was encouraged by placing second. It also had a series of good finishes during the year, including the program’s first win, at the Johnston Invite in Smithfield, N.C. on March 24. The team finished second at the Surry (N.C.) Invitational from Sept. 13-14 in the season opener.

Shough earned the team’s first individual win at the Louisburg College Championship at South Granville Country Club on Oct. 21-22.

Knowing more about the schedule and looking to place more emphasis on practice structure and development, the head coach said he has big plans for his team next season in closing the gap with Surry. His approach, he said, will revolve around that regional tournament and taking the steps needed from the fall, through the winter, to the spring, in order to peak and come together with maximum potential for those few days.

“The only way (the guys) will be fully recognized is by advancing to the national tournament,” Weinerth said. “My job is to get them ready throughout the season to be ready for that one tournament.”

Weinerth plans to tailor his practices to fix weaknesses in each players’ game. He said he wants a more structured regimen, with a consistent pre-shot and shot routine on the range.  He also wants his team to be regulars on the Chatmoss course, something his teams did at Carlisle.

He also doesn’t have the luxury of time on his side, as PHCC’s players only are available for two years. That means he has to push those who want to transfer to NCAA schools that much harder, he said.

“To be a (NCAA Division-I) player, you can’t have someone with you every step of the way. You have to be able to be taught,” he said. “These guys have other teachers, but they still have to be able to want to practice on their own.

“It’s kind of like being given homework: ‘I want you to read this, this and this and then we will have a test on it at the end of the week.’”

Drake hopes to walk on at Radford University in the fall, while the other three plan to return to form the core of what Weinerth hopes will be a growing roster at PHCC.

Weinerth is recruiting internationally, though only two international players are allowed to play in each tournament. PHCC already has signed another Patrick County player, Damien Beasley, and Weinerth believes he’ll have a more balanced roster in the fall.

Filed under: Men's Golf

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