EDITOR’S NOTE: This week The Volante interviewed men and women head golf coach Nick Hovden. Both teams just finished up their second tournaments of the season. Hovden discussed goals for the season, how the younger players have been adapting to the level of competition and how the team has dealt with the heat.
Josh Jorgensen: How has practice been going so far?
Nick Hovden: Only a couple weeks in, but I’m seeing some positive things. Most importantly I’m seeing good work ethic, several players staying late into the evening and pushing each other after practice.
JJ: What are your expectations for the team?
NH: As always, expectations are high for both teams. What’s special about this year is our depth. All eight guys and all 10 ladies have the talent and game needed to make the lineup and travel this season. This new depth will make us stronger and more competitive throughout the year.
JJ: Who is coming through as the team leaders early on?
NH: Tough to say who exactly our team leaders will be after only a week of practice. I’m pleased to see a few upperclassmen on each side starting to guide the younger players. I view them as teammates and not necessarily threats to their playing time and travel.
JJ: What have they done to help younger players?
NH: The little things have really stuck out to me. It’s the advice at practice, on the course, helping transition to campus life and making them feel comfortable and part of the team.
JJ: How have the young players grown in the early practices?
NH: The younger, new players are becoming more comfortable each and every day, with this comes confidence in their game. It’s great to see.
JJ: Has the heat affected the team at all?
NH: Practice and qualifyings were tough this past week. It’s so easy to lose focus and mental toughness when brutal conditions are constantly distracting you. The players did a fine job battling the heat and humidity. There wasn’t much of a surprise in scoring.
JJ: What are your goals early in the season at tournaments both as a team and for individuals?
NH: Our number one goal right now is consistency. All five players have to stay mentally tough and post three solid rounds. If we can be consistent, we’ll be in a position to win a few tournaments this fall.
JJ: What are the big tournaments this fall you hope to make a good showing at?
NH: We’ll prepare for each tournament the same this fall, but there’s always a little more riding on those in which we’re facing Summit League foes.
JJ: What parts of the game are you trying to work at the most before heading off to tournaments?
NH: Our mental game, meaning we stay in the moment, stay poised and are confident.