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High school golf in good position for fall season in Tennessee

Douglas Fritz • Jun 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Golf seems to have a leg up on the rest of the crowd of fall sports in Tennessee, but there are still challenges ahead.

Science Hill coach Kevin Vannoy, whose team won the 2018 TSSAA Large Class title and finished as state runner- up last year, said the summer looks fairly normal for golf competitors so far.

“The kids are playing individual tournaments,” Vannoy said. “They haven’t canceled those. When the conference and district tournaments begin, we may have to make some adjustments. But everything else should be OK. We can social distance without a problem.”

Dobyns-Bennett coach Michael Holt said he believes high school golf is in a good position.

“I feel like it’s a unique position,” Holt said. “Some of the mainstream requirements are built into golf already. And I feel like in the state of Tennessee, it’s different. We have such a strong association it’s unified, and that helps a lot.”

Golf season isn’t far away. The first practice date is July 13. The season can begin on July 27.

By the time it starts, most of the top players should be firmly entrenched in their games.

“In East Tennessee, all of the real serious ones are on the junior tours,” Vannoy said. “I try to stay away from them during that time.”

One thing that did take a hit from the coronavirus pandemic was the jamboree. The event is usually held the last week of July, but Vannoy and other coaches felt it was too soon in the restart phase to try to get 100 kids out on the golf course.

This could be a different season for the Hilltoppers. They graduated a lot of successful players over the last two years.

“All of those guys were in the program for three years at the varsity level,” Vannoy said. “This year we will lack some of that varsity experience.”

D-B and Tennessee High, along with the Hilltoppers, are expected to challenge at the top in the Big 7 Conference.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have high hopes,” Holt said. “It’s a fantastic group of young men. These seniors have been waiting their turns and have worked their tails off for three years.”

DEAD PERIOD BEGINS

The TSSAA’s dead period began early Monday morning.

No coaching, observing or contact between coach and players is allowed for any sport, and neither are practices. Open facilities and weight training or conditioning are not permitted.

The dead period continues until July 5 at midnight.

July 27 is the first day of practice for football, girls soccer, volleyball and cross country.

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