Snow on the ground is not conducive to golf.
Newton High’s boys were faced with the same dilemma as all the other Iowa high school golf teams for the 2019 season. Official practices began Monday and there was still plenty of snow on the Cardinals’ home course — Newton’s Westwood Golf Course.
Newton High boys’ head golf coach Pat Riley has been working on a project for awhile now. It was completed just in time to provide the Cardinals an indoor practice space.
“This is an awesome space for our kids,” Riley said as he showed off the new golf simulator practice room. “Before this, we didn’t have practice if there was snow on the ground, cold or rain.”
Riley has had the launch monitor for about a year but only had a small space in another room at Newton High School. With help from a couple other people, Riley has turfed a space of about 400 square feet in a storage room near the high school’s multipurpose room.
“Here the kids can hit into the net using the launch monitor which is hooked up to my computer. It will give them all the data they want including club head speed, ball speed, launch angle and much more. They can hit to the greens, hit to fairways, hit to targets.”
Riley said the monitor also has golf courses on it so the Cardinal golfers can play a course. He said the team will be fundraising this year to purchase a wall projector to use with the launch monitor so it’s not just on his computer screen.
There are two pitching stations. One has an automatic ball return if a golfer hits the ball in the cup. The other pitching station has a small net to catch the ball.
Riley built a portable putting station which can be moved. Two golfers can putt on the station.
“It’s not a super big green but they can work on 2-foot putts, 4-foot, 6-foot and 8-foot putts,” Riley said. “If we make 8-footers and in we’ll be pretty darn good.”
Riley said his assistant coach Jason Carter and NHS band teacher Jim Beerends have helped him with the room. Also golfers and parents have had a hand in getting things in place.
“It’s approximately a 20x20space. I have had open gyms on Saturdays for the guys to come in and use it for about two months,” Riley said. “And this week, with the snow still on the ground, it has allowed us to have good practices. We’ll be ready to hit the course as soon as the weather allows us to get outside.”
Newton’s girl golfers may also use the simulator room when the boys’ team is not using it.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or email@example.com