New coach excited to take reins of Bonner Springs golf program
The Bonner Springs boys golf team has undergone numerous changes since qualifying for the Class 5A state tournament in spring 2009.
Parker Miller, a freshman and the team’s top player last year, transferred to St. James Academy.
In addition, coach Jacob Beck moved on and has been replaced by Ryan Hull, the boys basketball coach.
Despite the changes, the cupboard is not bare.
“Yes, we are a work in progress,” Hull said. “I will take a cross country approach with this team. In cross country, you aim for your personal record every time out and I think that translates to golf. If we are able to build all season and show growth, we can be good. It would be special to make strides and if everything comes together we can get to where we want to go.”
That cross country approach is what Hull knows. It has been five years since he last coached a spring sport when he handled distance runners in track, and before that his only other coaching experience aside from basketball was in cross country. Golf is not unknown to him, though. His entire family excelled in golf growing up, including his grandfather who picked up the game late in life and shot his age when he was 70 and 72. Hull, who had focused on basketball, took up the game late in his teenage years and shot in the 80s and 70s at his peak.
“I’m the stereotypical golfer on the course,” Hull said. “There is no room for frustration out there. I am learning from my own golf game and I am improving — concentrating on minimizing my mistakes and learning lessons. That is what I want the kids to do when they are out there, focus on improving. Golf is mental treatment.”
The team has been focusing on the basics of the swing and concentrating on feel, and Hull hopes the rest will all come in time.
So far, practice time has been at a premium for the Braves. A snowstorm two weeks ago did not help, but Hull is enthusiastic about what lies ahead for his team.
“The thing that has really stuck out to me is the willingness of the kids to go out and play — they have even suggested using the orange balls if there is snow,” Hull said.
Returning for the Braves is senior letterwinner Steven Walker. He is the most experienced player on the team and is coming back from an anterior cruciate ligament tear during football season, but has been cleared medically to go out on the course.
Returning players joining Walker are Jonathan Price and Logan Opat. Both players showed good signs at times last season and should be improved with another year of experience under their belt.
Colin Henry, Shane Crosby, Alan Smith and Logan Terrell are the young players that will compete for varsity spots along with the other nine players on the team.