Fall prep golfers have enjoyed excellent weather

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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We talk to a lot of high school athletes at The Columbian, and we ask them all sorts of questions.

One question is what are their plans after graduating from high school. Generally, the answer is they want to continue to compete in their sport in college.

As far as their college choice goes, sometimes athletes want to attend a school that's close to home. Others want to go someplace farther away, just to get away.

But when we ask high school golfers that question, the answer is almost universal.

"I want to go someplace that is warm and dry."

A lot of athletes have to spend many hours in the weather plying their trade: football players, soccer players, runners, baseball/softball players, etc.

And while those athletes may receive the traditional Pacific Northwest weather with mixed feelings, golfers hate it. They just hate it.

Golfers don't get to run around in an attempt to stay warm. They walk or stand around.

The weather impacts golfers' play far more than it does other sports. Wind can carry shots. Soggy grounds can shorten how far a ball rolls. And trying to concentrate when you're cold and miserable is a challenge.

And often, golfers spend more time in the weather than other athletes -- more than two hours for a nine-hole round and more than four hours for 18.

That's why this fall's very unseasonably dry and warm weather has been a blessing for golfers.

As the fall portion of the season ends for Class 4A and 3A boys golfers this week, they will not play a single round -- or even hold a single practice -- in the rain.

I doubt the same will be said for girls golfers, who begin their season in mid-March.

The Class 4A and 3A boys golf district tournaments will be held Monday and Tuesday at Tri-Mountain Golf Course in Ridgefield.

The forecast for the next two days: sunny, light winds, highs in the low 70s.

Perfect.

Tri-Mountain will also be the site of the Class 3A boys state tournament in May.

One local high school coach said the opportunity for Southwest Washington to host the state tournaments next spring is a chance for the area to show off its courses.

Then he added: "I just hope the weather is good in May."Heck, the weather is good NOW. Let's just hold the state tournaments later this week. The weather is supposed to hold out until then.

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Speaking of golf, congratulations to the Union and Mountain View boys golf teams for completing perfect 5-0 league seasons last week. Union won the regular season title in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. Mountain View won the 3A Greater St. Helens League.

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The regular season is winding down in other sports this week. The tennis and cross country seasons end this week in the 4A and 3A GSHL.

In 4A and 3A GSHL cross country, teams will finish the regular season with some three-way meets on Tuesday.

In the 4A GSHL, Battle Ground, Skyview and Evergreen will run at Evergreen High School. Camas, Union and Heritage will run at Heritage High School.

In the 3A GSHL, Columbia River, Hudson's Bay and Prairie will run at Lewisville Park. Fort Vancouver, Mountain View and Kelso will run at Kelso High School.

The Fort-Mountain View-Kelso meet was originally scheduled as a home meet for Mountain View. However, Mountain View's home course is at Round Lake, the site where two recent Camas meets had to be relocated because of bear sightings.

So if you happen to see a hitchhiking bear on I-5 between here and Kelso on Tuesday, that's where he's headed.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or tim.martinez@columbian.com. You can follow @360TMart on Twitter.