District struggles kept Molalla boys from state golf match
The Molalla boy's golf team had a season of mixed results. Some members of the team rose to the occasion, some struggled, and some played exactly the type of game they expected. While the team did not make it past the district championship round, the reason was pretty clear: against Valley Catholic, the district champions, they were outgunned.
"The Valley Catholic kids were older (my understanding is that they will graduate almost their entire varsity team) than our boys, and far more experienced," Molalla head coach Patrick Tindall said. "That being said, the top teams are comprised of athletes who have made golf their focus. They get lessons from PGA teaching professionals, they practice and play year round, etc.; for most of our boys, this has not been the case."
The team struggled with inconsistent short games and occasionally hitting the ball into hazards at the district match at Quail Valley Golf Course. It was a too much to overcome in order to make it to state.
"Our chipping and putting was not at the level we have come to rely upon, and Quail's shot values require consistency and precision which we were unable to supply," Tindall said. "The consequences of mistakes at Quail Valley are harsh- there is lots of water, and the rough was brutal."
At the end of the season, Tindall has decided to call it a career as Molalla's boys golf team's coach. The decision was rendered early on in the season in the face of challenges both as a teacher and coach, particularly with scheduling.
"Being a golf coach and a teacher means missing eight to ten class days per year, at a critical time just before and during state testing," Tindall said. "The planning necessary for someone to cover your classes each of those days is exhaustive; and, the amount of time required to provide the best experience for my athletes was reaching a point where it was negatively impacting my personal life."
Still, Tindall received support from the school, Arrowhead Golf Course, and the men's club and was happy to have the experiences he did.
"While this was a difficult year, I feel blessed to have been allowed to work with amazing kids," Tindall said. "I am proudest of my State Champion Academic Team, as well as the five consecutive state championships won by Molalla girls just prior to, and at the beginning of, my time as a coach at Molalla. I would tell the next coach to savor every road trip, and every practice, as well as every match. I know I will remember them for years to come."
While he does not know who will be stepping in to replace him at the team's helm next year, Tindall knows that whoever it is will be working with a cast of solid athletes to help grow the game.
In his new spare time, Tindall plans to take to the course for himself, and maybe even introduce a new golf program for younger athletes.
"I would also like to develop a golf 'team' at Molalla River Middle School," Tindall said. "I want to introduce kids to the game and foster their improvement before they reach high school, so that future coaches will have more advanced players to work with."