As Mark Twain once said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”
For the University of Colorado men’s golf head coach Roy Edwards, that walk hasn’t been spoiled to the slightest extent all season.
The Colorado Buffaloes head into next weekend’s Pac-12 Championship as the 25th ranked team by Golfweek. Their impressive performances are thanks to finishing in the top five in seven of the nine stroke play tournaments all season.
Heading into the season, coach Edwards was confident in his team making the top 25 as they head into the Pac-12 Championship.
“I felt like we had a team that had a lot of experience,” Edwards said. “We have a lot of talented players, a hard-working group, very competitive, motivated, confident. You put those things together and you’ve got players from one to five at that level, then you expect to be ranked among the best teams in country.”
The Buffaloes, however, will be facing some stiff competition come April 28. Four other teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation are represented by the Pac-12: No. 1 USC, No. 8 Stanford, No. 9 Oregon and No. 22 Arizona State.
“You know that if you’re playing in the Pac-12 and you don’t play well, you’re going to get lapped,” Edwards said. “But if you play well, you’re going to have a chance to compete against the best players in the country and the best players in the world.”
But what makes this championship special for Edwards and his squad is that this year’s championship is hosted by CU Boulder at Boulder Country Club.
According to Golfweek, a golf ball at high altitude will fly 10 percent further than at sea level. Seven of the 12 schools in the Pac-12 are settled in areas that are lower than 1000 feet in elevation. At 5,430 feet, CU Boulder has the highest altitude of all the Pac-12 schools.
“I think there’s kind of a three-fold,” Edwards said. “The altitude’s certainly an interesting dynamic to it. We’ve got a certain level of experience of it and some of the teams haven’t. Colorado golf’s a big deal and we get to showcase that.”
Colorado golf has a chance to reinforce how big the team is with physical evidence.
“Also we get to show our program, our facilities and our championship and the work that everybody’s put into it to the other 11 participants in the Pac-12,” Edwards continued. “That’s a great opportunity for us, and the third thing is I’m very excited about having the opportunity to compete for a championship.”
Aside from altitude for teams that don’t play at high elevations, Boulder Country Club provides a stern test of golf from tee-to-green. Even Edwards feels that this will be a new challenge for his Buffaloes.
“I consider it a traditional country club built in the ’20s,” Edwards said. “Tree-lined, narrow, smaller greens that are also difficult to putt on. It’s a sneaky hard golf course. I don’t think we’ve played any golf course like this all season long. I think it’s unique. It’s not a golf course that you see a lot in college golf anymore and I think that’s going to be exciting for the participants.”
Edwards and his team are excited for the chance of playing for a conference championship and a potential bid for the NCAA Regionals this May.
Most importantly, he said that their opportunity will take place in their backyard.
“We get to host every 12 years, so it’s really a special experience for us, for our team and the other 11 teams that come into Boulder,” Edwards said. “It’s a really cool thing. I think the Pac-12 is not only the best golf league in the country, but we’re the best as far as our championships are concerned, and one of the reasons is we get to showcase our home campuses to the rest of the league and that’s a really exciting thing.”
The Pac-12 Championships will take place at Boulder Country Club from Friday, April 28, to Sunday, April 30. The final round will be televised on Sunday by the Pac-12 Network.
Contact CU Independent sports writer Drew Sharek at Andrew.Sharek@colorado.edu.