By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's golf team released its 2017 fall slate, with a healthy mix of familiar and new events highlighting what is to come for the Golden Eagles.
One of those familiar tournaments will kick start the new campaign for Tech, as the team heads back to the GolfWeek Program Challenge at True Blue Plantation in Myrtle Beach, S.C. from Sunday, Sept. 10 through Tuesday, Sept. 12.
"The GolfWeek Program Challenge will mark the first event of the year for the third year in-a-row for the guys," head coach Polk Brown said. "It's going to be more of a shootout. They are going to have to be ready to go down there and make a lot of birdies. Traditionally, that course is a place set up for low scoring if the weather is good. In our preparation for that, we are going to have to set things up for our guys to be comfortable going low, because that's the best way to be competitive in that environment. True Blue is a great course, and the fact that our women and men are going to be there at the same time just creates a good opportunity for them to be playing together to start the semester."
A quick turn around will prove an early test for the young Golden Eagle squad, as Tech will travel to Richmond, Ky. for the EKU Intercollegiate at the University Club at Arlington from Saturday, Sept. 16 to Sunday, Sept. 17.
"It's been quite a long time since we have played a men's event at that course," Brown explained. "It has to be at least eight or nine years since we've been there. That course will also lend itself to shootout. It's not a long course if the weather is good, so there will be a lot of low scores. The men will need to be prepared to take it low and be dialed in with their wedges and putts, especially. It's a great event.
"Those first two tournaments will be in the same week, so it will be a lot of golf to start the semester," Brown said. "They really need to be prepared. After that, however, they will have a considerable break before we go to Sapphire Valley."
Nearly three weeks will pass before the Tech men hit the links again, making an appearance at Western Carolina's Hummingbird Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley in Sapphire, N.C. from Monday, Oct. 2 through Tuesday, Oct. 3.
"It's been a couple of years since we have been there, but that is one of the most immaculate golf course that I have ever seen," Brown explained. "It's a beautiful course and will be a great test. The course is always in great shape, and I know the guys will really enjoy the opportunity to play there in Western Carolina's tournament."
Tech's next two events will feature similar named courses. On deck first will be the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate in Dickson, Tenn. at Greystone Golf Club. The event will run from Monday, Oct. 16 to Tuesday, Oct. 17. The second tournament sends the Golden Eagles to Birmingham, Ala. and Greystone Golf & Country Club for the Samford Intercollegiate from Oct. 23-24.
"We'll visit two Greystone courses in two different states for out next two events," Brown said. "First, we'll head to Greystone in Dickson for Austin Peay's tournament, which we had some success in last year. Then, we'll head to Greystone in Birmingham for Samford's tournament. They play a senior tour major there, so it's fantastic."
The Golden Eagles will renew a long-time rivalry for its final event of the year, heading to College Grove, Tenn. for the MTSU Intercollegiate at The Grove on Monday, Oct. 30.
"To close out the year, we are playing a 36-hole, one-day event against Middle [Tennessee]," Brown explained. "MTSU is a storied rival, even though they are in a different conference now. Before 2000, that was the team we were always up against. They have been really solid, so the chance to get to compete with them is a great opportunity for the guys. I'm just looking forward to seeing how the fall goes."
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information