Home course advantage: The uneven playing field at the state golf tournament

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Jack Roemer

The PV Golf team accepts their trophy and placing 2nd at the state tournament

Michael VanDerSchaaf, Sports Editor

The Pleasant Valley Mens Golf Team participated in the state tournament at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club on Oct. 9 and 10. The team was coming off a spectacular season and was looking to win a state title after coming up short in past years.

Senior Jack Roemer had high praise for the host and was grateful for the opportunity to compete for a state title. “The course was in great shape and Des Moines Country Club did a great job hosting the tournament. We were excited for the opportunity for sure,” said Roemer.

The Spartans started the tournament well and finished day one in second place behind Waukee. The Spartans were behind by a big margin and needed some stellar play on Saturday if they wanted to win. Saturday came and the Spartans played very well, but only managed to gain a few strokes back on Waukee – which landed them state-runner ups.

The Des Moines Golf and Country Club is a 10 minute drive from Waukee High School who triumphed the Spartans for the second year in a row. Many of Waukee’s golfers belong to the club and play the course multiple times a week. This is seen as an unfair advantage by several spectators, because for most state competitors, it is their first time playing the course all year.

Roemer was proud of his team’s effort at the state tournament, but knew they were at a disadvantage entering the weekend. “It was unfortunate for us that Waukee got the lucky draw with having it at their home course,” said Roemer. “At the end of the day you still have to go out and perform for two days and that’s what Waukee did.”

Although the Spartans believe the location gave Waukee an advantage, they could not blame the 16-point deficit on that alone. 

Sophomore Sam Johnson respected Waukee’s play at the state tournament. “Waukee put up two great days of golf while we did not play to our capabilities. We could try to find excuses about Waukee’s situation but at some point you just have to take it in the chin and move on,” exclaimed Johnson.

Whether the tournament result happened due to location or stellar golf, the Spartans still put on an outstanding performance to cap off their 2020 season. The Spartans look to use the shortcoming as fuel for the future and win a state championship in the coming seasons.