Bingham boys golf looking for steady improvement
Aug 29, 2019 11:29AM
● By Josh McFadden
Senior Garrett Bland will be among the top competitors for the Bingham boys golf team this fall. (Photo courtesy of James Applegate)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
In sports, you’ll find some coaches who have complex philosophies and complicated objectives for their teams. With the Bingham boys golf team, head coach James Applegate likes keeping things simple.
“Our goals and expectations are the same as every other year,” he said. “We would like to become the best golfers we can become. We would like to become better each day as we practice and play.”
Last season, Bingham placed fifth at the Class 6A state tournament, shooting a combined 648 at the two-day event. The Miners were 19 points behind fourth-place Pleasant Grove.
Applegate does return his top performer from a year ago, senior Garrett Bland. He shot a 161 at state as a junior and comes back for his fourth season on the team, his third as a varsity competitor. Fellow senior Nick Davis has been with the program for three years, but this is his first opportunity to play on the varsity team.
“I rely on my seniors to not only perform but to lead the team by example,” Applegate said.
In early August, as the season got underway, Applegate wasn’t sure what the rest of the team would look like. He was happy with the team’s depth at the varsity level.
“All of my varsity golfers have the ability to shoot solid rounds,” he said.
Unlike some coaches who may place a high value on wins and losses, Applegate is more concerned about each player doing his best and improving his skills.
“I do not base my success on what place we take in region or state because I cannot control what other teams do,” he said. “I can only control what we do. We need to be better than the day before.”
Applegate follows the wisdom of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who guided the Bruins to 10 national titles in a 12-year span in the 1960s and 1970s. Applegate echoes this quote from Wooden: “"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming."
At the outset of the season, Applegate was pleasantly surprised with some of his players’ scores, which were lower than he had expected so early in the year.
“It just shows how much the have worked this past year,” he said.
Ultimately, Applegate wants the boys to enjoy being around one another and playing golf together. He also wants to help in areas away from the sport.
“I enjoy working with my kids and seeing them improve in golf and school and in becoming men,” he said.