Oak Grove Golf team escapes the weather; heads to Montana to host qualifier

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 8:51 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s been a long offseason for our spring sports.

Unplayable conditions have delayed the start to each and every one of our high school activities, including boy’s golf, but one of our local teams found a simple yet daunting way to hit the links.

The Oak Grove boys held their spring qualifier at Eaglerock golf course in Billings Montana. A course located about 600 miles away from Oak Grove Lutheran.

“After practice coach rounds us all up and he’s like, ‘so we’re going to billings tomorrow.’” Junior Golfer Caden Beer said. “Everyone was fine with it. Everyone was up to it. It was really fun.”

Eighth Grader Carter Paules echoed that sentiment, saying that: “It was very fun to go out there and play some golf because we’re not in the snow and everything. It was fun to hang out with all my friends and get closer to them.”

Billings was not the original plan for their spring qualifiers. They had a few other courses in mind to play host, but as the weather kept closing those down, they had to look further and further away from home. Despite the long weekend trip, first year head coach Ross Uglem said the golfers, and most importantly their parents, were well up to it.

“I would understand if there would have been reservations about a 16 hour car trip in the course of 56 hours, 58 hours, however long we were out there.” Uglem said. “Everybody was just bought in and that’s what I’ve seen with this community and with this program. I’m very fortunate to have a lot of kids that are obsessed with golf. As a coach, that’s awesome.”

The Grovers, along with more and more golf teams across the country, have been able to rely on technology to stay sharp ahead of the season. Whether it’s in oak grove’s golf simulator in their gym, indoor putting greens, or even facilities like suite shots helping golfers stay in shape year round. However, the Grovers agree, there’s nothing quite like playing on a real course.

“Simulators just aren’t too accurate with numbers, they take a few numbers off my driver and I’m not happy about it.” Beer said. “I think it’s just worth it to see how far the ball goes in real time.”

They now hope that this opening road trip will help with the start of the season hopefully coming up soon. The State Tournament is set for June 6th and 7th in Wahpeton.