Men’s golf balancing books and hitting the links

By Dustin King

Over the past month, Kurtis Luedtke, NIU men’s golfer, had a conflicting schedule.

“It’s really hard,” Luedtke said. “You have to learn how to compartmentalize your life. When you’re on the course, you can’t think about school, and when you’re at school, you can’t think about golf.”

March’s madness had its own effect on the Huskies. NIU had three tournaments in March, which required constant traveling from DeKalb, to Florida and back.

At the start of spring break, the Huskies flew to Orlando for the UCF Rio Pinar Invitational.

The team practiced all break and played 36 holes March 19 and 18 holes March 20. That Tuesday night, NIU had to catch a 9:55 p.m. flight back to Chicago Wednesday.

After getting back to DeKalb at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Huskies rested and went to class that same day.

Wednesday was the only time the Huskies had in their busy agenda to attend class, because the next day, they had another important tournament.

The Huskies had to quickly fly back to Florida Wednesday afternoon for the FAU Spring Break Championship in Lake Worth.

The tournament wiped out any plans of the team catching up in the classroom, because it lasted until Sunday.

“The teachers were really good about working with you; they were understanding and cooperative.” said Shawn Foley, sophomore golfer.

The team had got their class work done in their free time. They did papers and online assignments in their auto-net mobile enabled van.

“We feel like we did a good job minimizing missed class time and still providing the players with the best chance of succeeding on the course,” said NIU coach Tom Porten.

It may sound like a difficult task balancing school and a busy golf schedule, but that’s what the team signed up for.

“It’s part of being a student athlete, they want to do this,” Porten said. “We felt like they were prepared.”