HUNTERSVILLE – A high school golf coach and visitor were discussing golf hitting distances and the magic number 300 (yards) came up. It was idle chatter during warm-ups before a conference match at The Tradition Golf Club.
One said he averaged about 285 yards and wondered aloud if any prep golfer could routinely hit it that far.
“Well, maybe the Hough kids could,” he said.
Not one. All of them, he meant.
It’s been that kind of dominant season for Hough. But the Huskies aren’t just big hitters, though, who mash the ball far and have no control. They’ve got a bevy of golfers who can hit for distance, control and consistency.
“Collectively, I’ve got a bunch that knows how to play,” Hough coach Erik Herberth said. “We’re pretty solid top to bottom, despite having to replace three players from last year’s team who went on to play (college) Division I.”
Hough hasn’t been tested much in MECKA 4A conference matches. Most of the competition for the top individual honor comes from within the Huskies’ squad. In the match at The Tradition on April 10, the top three finishers were Hough’s Blake Fiest, who shot 34 over the nine-hole course, Hough’s Patrick Cover (35) and Hough’s Blake Wagoner (36). Hough’s Matt Sharpstene shot a 37 to tie for fourth place.
The Huskies’ team score of 142 won by 26 strokes, hardly a nailbiter.
It wasn’t much different a day earlier. Same course. Same conference opponents. Same lopsided result, as Hough’s top quartet of scorers won by 19 strokes.
Hough’s David Yang was first with a 35, followed by teammates Cover and Sharpstene, who each fired a 36. Hough’s Wagoner shot a 38 to tie for fourth.
It’s not a question of will Hough win a conference match, only which Husky will take the top individual honor.
In a conference match in Mooresville on April 8, Hough’s Cover won the top honor with a round of 34. The Huskies had five of the top eight scores and won the event by 18 strokes.
Herberth said his players push each other because they’re all talented, but the conference matches haven’t produced much drama in the team competition. Sure, the Huskies battle each other for the top spot and none have dominated it this season. To increase competition and sharpen skills, Herberth scheduled his team to play in several other tournaments. The goal is to be sharpest when the postseason begins.
Hough’s conference tournament will be April 28 at Verdict Ridge Country Club in Denver, followed by the playoffs when the competition stiffens.
Herberth’s take on some of his top performers:
• Cover, a senior who signed with UNC Wilmington: “He’s starting to play really well. Patrick’s overall game is awesome. He does everything well and for a little buy, he hits the ball a long way.”
• Sharpstene: “Even though he’s a freshman, he’s a good natural player with a lot of ability. Just an overall good player.”
• Wagoner: “A freakish athlete who was pretty raw as a freshman last year. He put in a lot of hard work with me as instructor and student. His game is growing and maturing.”
• Fiest: “He’s been pretty solid for many years. He doesn’t do anything overly great or anything bad, as well. Blake creates good opportunities.”
Yang, a senior headed to play at Ohio University, is also in the mix atop the leader board in every event. The Huskies have 11 talented players and Herberth lets them compete amongst themselves for the six playing spots in the next tournament.