Golf team to open in Colorado

Daniel Laudermilk

The men’s golf team heads to Denver, Colorado for its opening tournament with high expectations amidst the high elevation.

Ian Gallagher, senior in finance, said “It’s always exciting to travel as a team and start the year off in beautiful Colorado. The long trip gives us a chance to bond in tight quarters.”

The team will be traveling 10 hours and more than 600 miles in a typical white-shuttle van giving them plenty of time to get to know one another.

Gallagher continued, “It might be tight in that van but we are a pretty entertaining bunch, so the trips get really interesting after a couple hours.”

Denver, the Mile-High City introduces a radical change in elevation in comparison to Wichita Falls at 948 ft. the elevation at the tournament will be around 5,500 ft. Unlike football or soccer where the change effects lung capacity in the thin air, the altitude change will be advantageous for heavy hitters off of the tee.

Former All-American now student assistant coach Derek Oland, senior in business, said “The altitude in Denver is going to add anywhere from 8-10% distance in yardage for each club.” Last year the team travelled to Arizona, which was a steady increase in elevation, however not as drastic as Denver.

The 2014-2015 season ended with the team second in conference and ninth in the regional standings. Brandon Banks, senior in management, said, “We have three seniors coming back who have been on a conference championship team, which is great experience to have. Also the young guns are playing strong right now.”

Gallagher, Banks, and Colton Kowalick are the three returning starters, each adamant about the possibility of winning another conference ring and making a run towards the national championship. The team is looking forward for the season ahead, especially this first tournament in the Mile-High City.