Heritage golfers have up-and-down season

CONYERS - Heritage's golf teams didn't exactly set the courses on fire this season with low scores and sensational shooting.

But that doesn't mean that both the Patriots and Lady Patriots didn't have successful seasons.

The Heritage boys played up to par with the Patriot teams of the past before faltering in the region tournament.

"We won the Conyers Cup and we won five of the six dual matches we were in. We finished between third and 14th in every tournament we were in, so I think we played pretty well," Heritage boys coach David Buddenbaum said. "We just didn't get the low scores at region that we needed.

"Overall, I think we played real well in a few tournaments. We finished third in the Madison County tournament. Cameron (Smith) played real well in that tournament, so did Brett (Whitmire) and Bennett (Mitchell). They all played well that day, and that was good to see."

However, the season came to an end at the region tournament as the Patriots were not able to earn a state berth or qualify an individual medalist.

"We played real well for nine holes in the region tournament, which I thought was a good thing. We just didn't finish," he said. "I think a lot of them knew what (Eastside golfer) Taylor Smith was shooting, and they probably started pressing a little bit and tried to lower their score. They knew they would have to try and make up for those 15 strokes that he beat everybody by."

Buddenbaum said last year's team was a mixed bag of upperclassmen and underclassmen, which led to an up-and-down year.

"It wasn't really a rebuilding year. We had three seniors and three underclassmen in our top six, so it was kind of a half-and-half year," he said. "I felt like we had some good, young players. Bennett played really well throughout the year and Harrison Elliott won the Conyers Cup. He played pretty well throughout the year too."

Buddenbaum said the key to improving for next year is simply getting out and playing.

"More than anything, the guys will have to continue playing golf in the offseason and try to get more tournament experience," he said.

On the girls side, Coach Judd Hinton had hardly any experience at all coming back to the team.

"I would say this was definitely a rebuilding season. We only had one girl come back who had played golf before," Hinton said. "We didn't have a whole lot of experience."

Still, Hinton said that his team began to make strides in the right direction.

"I feel that the team definitely improved throughout the season," he said.

Hinton also said that his team will need to hit the courses in the off-season if they expect to be better next season.

"The girls that want to come out and play next season should try and play during the off-season. That's the biggest difference you can make and it's the easiest way to improve," he said.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.