MORGANTOWN — Any good golfer will tell you that one of the keys to the sport is repetition.
Rory McIlroy didn’t acquire his powerful driving ability overnight, and Jason Day didn’t develop his putting skill in just a few practice sessions. Golf is a sport that requires near-perfection with each stroke of the ball to be successful, and often takes years to master. Tiger Woods was introduced to golf at the ripe young age of 2.
For Trinity Christian senior Mark Spruill, the importance of repetition cannot be overstated. Spruill saw that dedication pay dividends when he and Trinity made the trip to the Jones Course at Speidel Golf Club in Wheeling for the state championships.
Now, Spruill and the Warriors are on the fairways preparing for a new season, and if anything, his experience last fall seemed to reinforce his belief system.
“Summer training for me has just been hitting as many golf balls as possible,” he said. “I got a job on a driving range and any chance I can get, I hit. Any chance I have to get on the course, I take that as well. Just trying to dial in certain shots and clubs.”
The strategy pleases Trinity coach Mike Baldy, who saw his team struggle with consistency from round to round last year. He hopes to have his golfers on the course several times a week through the beginning of the season, developing them into more predictable and reliable players.
“Last fall we were able to advance to states, but we didn’t really play well there,” he said. “As a team, we want to establish more consistency moving forward. If our student-athletes get out and play a few times a week during the summer, I think they will develop it.”
Baldy needn’t worry about Spruill, who seems driven to perfect his craft. Spruill will be the first to admit, though, that a reliably consistent golf game is one of the rarest things in sports.
“Consistency is a hard trait to obtain in golf, and that is one thing that I have been working on,” he said. “This summer, the whole team really just needs to play golf. If they get enough rounds, they will be back to the form they were at around the end of the season last year, and through the season we can build on that.”
Baldy expects Spruill to be a standout for the Warriors this fall, saying Spruill has been “the one” for his team the past three seasons.
“Mark is a golf encyclopedia; he is able to help develop the other players with his knowledge of the game,” he said.
Spruill looks forward to assuming the leadership role once again, especially as he prepares for his final season with the Warriors. He hopes that he can use his influence to improve the squad from the bottom up and foster success within the program.
“I enjoy the leadership role. I want to be a good role model and show the younger kids how fun golf can be,” he said. “I think I can help encourage everyone on the team and make it fun while rapidly improving everyone’s golf game. Hopefully, we can set up Trinity golf for future successes.”
Baldy believes that if Spruill and his teammates can continue pushing through rounds with consistency through the summer, the talent is there to make another go at the state championships.