Next era of Parkland Golf begins
After spending half of last season as the interim coach, Corbin Sebens was promoted to full time head coach of the Parkland Golf team this fall.
Sebens will be bringing in a competitive freshmen class, as well as the returning sophomores, Dom Knight and David Gerig, into his first campaign at Parkland.
“I’ve got a deep team. One through nine, the guys are pushing each other and setting a competitive tone,” Sebens said. “I can give everyone a chance to qualify for a tournament. Golf is who has the lowest scores, so whoever is qualifying in practice are going to be the five that go out that weekend.”
The players share Seben’s enthusiasm.
“It’s exciting. It drives you to play better,” Gerig said about the competitiveness among teammates. “It’s nice to see people pushing. This year if you want to be playing [in tournaments], you got to be playing good.”
“We’re so much better than last year,” Dom Knight said. “The guys are putting a lot of work into their game. It’s a more positive vibe.”
Just one tournament into the season, the Cobras have already shown their potential for success, putting in a third place finish, behind only the two teams local to the course being played. Knight led the way, finishing third in individual score.
Those performances are what the team, as well as Knight himself, are expecting from the season.
“I had a lot of close calls last year individually, so I want to win a few tournaments this year,” Knight said. About his goals for the team, he added, “We know we’re good enough to win tournaments, so it’s not about just winning one, but winning all five.”
Leadership is contributing to the confidence of the newest members on the Cobras.
“They had the tools to be really good last year, but were just missing some guys with good consistent scores,” freshman Christian Khachaturian said. “Everyone on this team can start at any given time, so I can just contribute low on the team and it doesn’t have to fall on one guy.”
Confident leadership is not just seen on the course performance.
Freshman Josh Lamb is still figuring out the adjustments to American styles of course play, after coming to Parkland from Peebles, Scotland. Fortunately, the team has Knight, an Englishman, who has been through the transition already.
“It’s getting used to the ground. The grass, especially around the greens is very different. The rough is so thick, I’m still getting used to the chipping,” Lamb said. “The rain and the wind are gone though, so you can really lash around [with the drive].”
“I know Josh has been leaning on [Knight], and their living together, which is nice. It really is helping the transition go a lot smoother,” Sebens said.
The team’s cohesion will be even more in play this weekend at the conference tournament. The format will be shifting from the standard stroke play of most matches, and instead will be more resemblant of the Ryder Cup, involving two player alternate shot and best ball, as well as individual match play.
“It should be good fun,” Lamb said. “It can be difficult, because I tend to be a bit of an aggressive player, especially when I’m feeling comfortable, but that can leave you a bit short-sided, and you certainly don’t want to short-side your partner when they have to be the one getting you out of it.”
“I love match play,” Khachaturian said. “You’re never out of it, so you can have a bad hole and bounce back a lot easier. I’m looking forward to it.”