[Moderated by Matt Jones]
After a successful fall campaign for the University of Kentucky golf team, and after the addition of European transfer Ben Stow, there’s a feel around this UK club that they can really do some damage in the upcoming spring season.
“I feel like with the addition of Ben Stow in the lineup we got a lot more firepower and you know what, I’m not saying we are the odds on favorite [to win the SEC title], but we could do it. Beyond that I feel like this team is capable of making a run deep into the postseason,” UK head coach Brian Craig told me yesterday morning. I like the sound of that, don’t you?
UK transfer Ben Stow and the rest of the team look to make their mark on a national level
This past weekend, Coach Craig got a small taste of the improvement his team has made since the fall when they traveled to Palm Beach, Florida to participate in their annual alumni match which serves as a tune-up for their spring season that kicks off next month in Mobile, Alabama.
“I thought we looked really good considering there’s still another three weeks before our first tournament. Ben Stow, who had to sit out in the fall, is a very talented player and he looked to be in good form down there considering it’s January. I thought Steven Powers looked to be in good form. I also thought Chase Parker, who didn’t have his best fall, looked pretty good and made some strides down there.”
UK golfer Chase Parker looks to take his improvement into the spring season
Clearly, the talent and improvement is there for the Cats, who look to challenge on both a conference and national level, but the future success for them does not stop there. Oh, does it not stop there.
In November, UK inked three talented in-state recruits in Cooper Musselman (Louisville, St. X), Christopher Meuth (Henderson, Evansville Memorial) and Stephen Stallings (Louisville, St. X) that look to bolster their future. And although they are already very accomplished players, Coach Craig believes that all three possess high upside and have their best golf ahead of them.
“This is our upside class. All three guys have nice records, but they’re not anywhere near what they are capable of doing. It’s going to be fun to see over the next four years how they can develop. Cooper Musselman can flat take it low, he’s not afraid to shoot 63 in competition. Stephen Stallings drives it like a tour star but he just needs to get better with the short shots. Christopher Meuth just needs to putt better but he’s another kid with a world of potential.”
The “U Club,” as they call it, will soon be home on of the nation’s finest facilities.
The improved recruiting, though, isn’t the only reason that the future is looking brighter for Kentucky golf. Currently under construction at the University Club of Kentucky is 12-thousand square foot indoor-golf facility that features driving range stalls, a huge indoor short game area, state-of-the-arc team locker rooms and lounges, coaches’ offices, and even a club repair station. So, to sum it up, it’s everything that makes a nostalgic high school golfer like myself envious. But that’s not the biggest recruiting pitch Coach Craig makes. What is, you may ask?
“The biggest thing we sell is that this is The University of Kentucky.”
And we all like to hear that.
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