The fog was hanging low to the ground and the early morning temperature hovered in the 50s.
But when new Lipscomb men’s golf coach Will Brewer arrived at Wasioto Winds Golf Course in Pineville, Ky., Monday morning the view could not have been more impressive. Despite the conditions and the early hour his golfers were already on the practice green working on putts.
“We were the first ones on the putting green by about 20 minutes on the first day,” Brewer said. “They bought into what we were doing. They got up early and got there and got prepared.”
After holding on to third place through the first two rounds of the Wasioto Winds Fall Kick-off the Bisons struggled in the third round and slipped to a final finish of seventh in the 14-team field.
Even with the mid-field finish Brewer was pleased with what he saw from his team at his debut tournament as the coach of the Bisons.
“We have a lot of great, quality young men,” Brewer said. “They really want to get better. That sure makes coaching easier.
“I have not seen, felt or heard any push back on anything. I know what you have to do to score well. They are buying into it. I am grateful for that.”
The Bisons finished 12 shots behind Northern Kentucky, the third-place finisher.
“We have more talent on the team than they think they have,” Brewer said. “We are not that far away. They are one or two swings, one or two putts or one of two chips away. If we make better decisions and do a couple of things better we can reduce the scores.
“Our goal for the season is to improve one shot per round, per player, per tournament. If we can do that we will improve 12 strokes per tournament. If we had done that we would have been third.”
Blanton Farmer finished in a tie for eighth with a score of 216 (71-71-73).
“Blanton didn’t have his `A’ game, but he was close enough to stay in the hunt,” Brewer said. “He just had a couple of things go wrong. If those things hadn’t happen he could have probably been in the top three.”
Paul Klein-Kracht finished tied for 21st with a score of 221 (72-73-76).
“I was really pleased with Paul,” Brewer said. “He has bought into our mental side of what we are trying to do. He had one or two hiccups in three rounds. I was extremely pleased with how well he played.”
Brewer was disappointed in the quality of the short game play for the Bisons. It is an area he emphasizes and he plans additional work between now and the Murray State Invitational Oct. 1.
“We have pointed out through statistics, and through certain things we are watching for, where their weaknesses are so we can attack those before we leave for Murray,” Brewer said. “We have about 16 days to get better quickly.
“The short game has to be our focus. Our short game is very weak. We have pretty good full-swing guys. But most golf shots are taken 180 yards in or around the green. We are going to work on fundamentals, technique and how to hit different shots.”
Brewer plans to use a variety of coaching ideas and repetition of shots to drive home the importance of the short game.
“If you look at players who win they have excellent short games,” Brewer said. “They pitch it well. They chip it well. They hit it out of bunkers well. The majority of the time they make the eight, 10 or 12 foot putt s they have to make.
“Most people would rather hit the long drive and see the ball fly in the air. It is more fun to do that. We have a lot of work to do.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.