NIU men’s golf to hold fall intrasquad season


Northern Star file photo

Rich Harvest Farms, 2330 Granart Road in Sugar Grove is home to NIU golf.

By Wes Sanderson

DeKALB — With fall competitions sidelined, NIU’s athletic department has started searching for ways of providing a similar competitive atmosphere.

One of those programs is the NIU Men’s Golf team, who’s fall intercollegiate competitions were canceled. The men’s program has adapted to the times and created an “intrasquad” fall series of matches starting Sept. 11 and ending Oct. 25. 

NIU’s fall season is a valuable way for athletes to get in reps not just on the driving range, but in official competitions. Giving head coach John Carlson a better understanding of potential roster make-up for the spring championship portion of the season.

“We ended up losing 15 of our 24 competition days,” Carlson said. 

The Huskies fall schedule was set to consist of a list of invitationals known for hosting some of the top teams in the NCAA.

 The Huskies were set to play at the likes of Turning Stone in New York, the University of Wisconsin, Purdue University, and its home invitational at Rich Harvest Farm, in Sugar Grove.

Now, these new tournaments will be played at some golf courses in the area.

“We have tournaments at Rich Harvest Farms, Black Sheep, Stone Bridge, Chicago Highland and the Glen Club,” Carlson said.

The biggest difference in these intrasquad series events, is that they will not be in a traditional tournament format, Carlson said.

The formats Carlson said he had decided on are stroke-play stableford format, match play, two-man worst ball two-man scramble, traditional stroke play and two-man best ball with stroke play final.

“Our goal is to remain safe and give the student athlete experience, but also get [student athletes] comfortable with the uncomfortable,” Carlson said.

The first event on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, which will be held at Kishwaukee Country Club in DeKalb, and Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora, will be a stroke play stableford format.

Stableford is a point based scoring system based on the amount of strokes to reach the whole. The biggest difference between stableford and traditional stroke play is in stableford, the higher score wins.

Another format Carlson selected is a two-person team event, which will be during the Oct. 9 meeting at Rich Harvest Farms. Carslon set this format up as a two-man worst ball; players play in two-person teams vs another two-person team. Each player will hit a tee-shot, but from there play will be taken from the worst resulting tee shot for each team.

Carlson said the biggest reason for the creation of this series is to keep that competitive edge. Golf can always be practiced individually, but without simulating those pressure like situations, athletes lose a big skill in game management.