With eight new faces on his roster RDC golf coach Scott Bergdahl knows he has a lot of work ahead of him.
But that’s just fine with the Lakewood Golf Resort head pro.
“Our program is structured around the development of the players,” he said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
“That’s why we run an eight month program rather than just six weeks. Everyone needs assistance and a mentor. We offer development as a golfer and as individuals. We hope what we offer rubs off a little bit and they take it long way.”
All one has to do is look at Central Alberta amateur champion Jordan Krulicki, who spent a couple of seasons with the program.
“It’s great to see players, such as Jordan, get better and better and I’d like to think we played a small part in that.”
The golf program is entering the seventh season, thanks to Gord Scott.
“He’s been our major sponsor and has just signed up for three more years. You can’t measure how important that is,” said Bergdahl.
The RDC team heads into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Northern Zone playdowns at Red Tail Landing at Nisku this weekend with only two veterans on the roster.
“On paper this is the best team we’ve had,” Bergdahl said. “We had a tough qualifying weekend and there were a lot of bright spots. Now it’s important to see how we perform this weekend.”
The team will play a practice round Saturday with competition Sunday and Monday.
Jonathan Laniel and Braden Oehlerking are the two returnees on the eight-man men’s team.
But it was the newcomers who led the way during qualifying, with Alex Boyce of Hunting Hills top qualifier.
“Alex was a one-handicap, but has been away from college for a year and didn’t play a lot. However he shot two rounds in the mid 70s and the second day it was really windy.
Dylan Goranson and John Miller, both out of Notre Dame, are two other new faces who impressed.
“I used to coach Dylan, so it’s interesting to have him with the team, and John was a very solid player when he was 15, shooting in the low 70s and high 60s. He’s been away from the game a bit, but hits it real well, has excellent potential and I’m looking forward to developing him.”
Paul Numrich is also out of Hunting Hills.
“He worked a lot this summer so didn’t play as much, but he had his best round ever in the first round of qualifying and he’s a kid who works hard.”
Connor Ablett of Three Hills and Dylan Sigaty-Hawkes of Salmon Arm, B.C., round out the men’s squad while Sarah Pendergast of Spruce View and Erin Wiese of Westlock are the only members of the women’s side.
“Erin was a walk-on and wasn’t sure she was going to play, so she didn’t have her clubs or shoes this week and played well. She’s a nine-handicap while Sarah rips through the ball. I’m looking forward to what they can do.”
The majority of the players are from Red Deer, which doesn’t surprise Bergdahl.
“It’s tough to get players out of the cities because of other programs, so we look at the local area and the country, plus Saskatchewan,” he said. “But people are becoming aware of our program. We have the studio at the college and having the K-vest and the TPI program is a bonus for us.”