Boys golf finds successes in unusual season

Gavin Ewen, Sectional Editor

Last month, the Elk Grove boys golf team started a season unlike any it had ever experienced, in more ways than one.

With precautions and strict safety measures in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the team is already more than halfway done with season.

Precautions included wearing a mask whenever golfers aren’t hitting, set tee times that only allow the kids to show up 20 minutes prior to them starting and electronic scoring so there is no exchanging of score cards.

Golf courses don’t have any restrictions other than what was given to them by the Illinois Department of Public Health, EG golf coach Brian Bucciarelli said.

“I think it has made everything on the golf course more efficient, but has taken away the ‘gentleman aspect of the game’ with shaking hands, etc.,” Bucciarelli said via email.

Also, due to the ongoing pandemic, Bucciarelli and his staff decided to only keep 20 golfers for all levels.

“It was a number we felt we could manage and since we aren’t allowed to play extra kids in competitions we felt it allowed us to coach these kids in practices with a sizable number,” Bucciarelli said via email. 

Despite all the changes and restrictions, Bucciarelli said he hasn’t changed much and approached this year almost like any other. However Bucciarelli, does stress that himself and his staff is offering a more social emotional approach due to the pandemic and that everyone’s lives have been changed for the past months. 

“Everyone’s home lives are totally flipped upside down this year, especially since March,” Bucciarelli said via email. 

As for the play this season, Bucciarelli said he is very pleased due to the fact that he has a very young team playing well.  

One of the team’s best overall performances happened at the Rolling Meadows Invitational. The varsity Grens had four scores in the 80s, and three of the four in that group were freshman and sophomores. That feat hasn’t been accomplished at EG in more than 10 years. 

EGHS junior and varsity golfer Cooper Moellenkamp said he appreciates that he is just able to play in general. 

“It’s just great to be around my teammates again and we’re being successful, which is awesome,” Moellenkamp said.

With regionals and sectionals on the horizon, the Grens are trying to finish their successful season on a high note. 

“The kids are so resilient,” Bucciarelli said in an email. “The season has gone very well, we are a very young team and competing well.”