February 24, 2012 by Joe.Ciminera
The Drexel University men’s golf team will try to improve upon a trying fall season when they kick off the spring in Wilmington, N.C.
The Dragons will begin the spring golf season at the Country Club of Landfall in the University of North Carolina-Wilmington’s Seahawk Invitational Feb. 26-27. The tournament, in which Drexel competed two years ago, consists of six Colonial Athletic Association schools and six teams ranking in or right around the top 40 in the country. For the strong competition, Drexel head coach Mike Dynda enjoys competing in the match.
“It’s really a great event,” Dynda said.
The Country Club at Landfall, designed by Pete Dye and golf legend Jack Nicklaus, will host some of the top teams in the nation this year, including Wake Forest University, Chattanooga College, the University of South Carolina, UNC-Wilmington and the 31st-ranked team in the nation, Liberty University.
“We’re paired with Liberty the first two rounds,” Dynda said. “Hopefully we will be able to play with them.”
One of the biggest challenges for the Dragons will come on the greens.
“The team will need to be sharp with their short game,” Dynda said. “Bermuda grass, especially dormant Bermuda grass, is a different texture than we are used to playing on.”
Bermuda grass is typically found in the South in warmer climates, so Drexel has not had much exposure to it being on the East Coast. While playing on Bermuda grass, the ball tends to jump and break a little bit more. The Dragons will need to adapt to this surface quickly, as putting will be imperative to their success.
Another area the Dragons may struggle in is experience. The last time they competed there, only one current golfer, Ben Feld, played the course — the rest of the Dragons will need to get a feel for it very quickly to play well.
The Seahawk Invitational will also be a great way for the Dragons to showcase their skills and knock the rust off as they enter the spring season.
Although Drexel had many struggles in the fall, finishing at the back of the pack in many tournaments, Dynda feels the team will be better in the warmer season.
“They are hungry to improve on the fall,” Dynda said. “The weather has also been helpful in letting us get a lot of outdoor reps in.”
The Dragons will have their work cut out for them this season as they will compete in some very good tournaments, including the Fireline Towson Invitational March 30-April 1 in Maryland, the Wildcat Invitational April 2-3 and the Wolfpack Spring Open in Raleigh, N.C. April 14-15.
“I really think the entire team is going to step it up in the spring,” Dynda said. “Ben Feld had a good spring, but the entire team needs to step up a little bit.”
The Dragons look to be a force this season in the CAA and hopefully be a contender for the conference championship. Even with high aspirations, Dynda knows to take it one match at a time.
“Our goal is to continue to improve at each event,” Dynda said. “And hopefully we hit our stride in time for the CAA Championships.”
So, as noted by Dynda, the Dragons will take it slow and are focused on the UNCW Seahawks Invitational.