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Dinos golf team searches for identity

By Christie Melhorn, June 9 2017 — 

While most students are familiar with the University of Calgary’s football and basketball teams, the U of C also houses the only competitive university-level golf team in Calgary.

The Dinos golf club started in 2012 with just two players, one of which is the team’s current manager, Steven Scheidt. The team grew to 13 players in the 2016–17 season and qualified for the Royal Canadian Golf Association Nationals (RGCA).

Unlike varsity sports like football or hockey, golf is a club sport. Club sports generally have a lower time commitment and less pressure than varsity sports. With that comes less exposure.

“Our identity is a lack of having an identity. A lot of students and people in Calgary don’t know that we exist,” Scheidt said.

Scheidt, along with coach Josh Flemming, wants to bring awareness to the golf team.

“We want to make sure the good golfers out there know there’s an option if they don’t want to travel to the States or go to the East or West Coast,” Scheidt says. “They can stay at home and play golf competitively while they go to school.”

Scheidt said playing golf with the Dinos was enriching and thinks the sport teaches valuable life skills.

“It was a huge part of my university experience,” he said. “Time management is huge. Being on the road for tournaments the first three weekends of the semester, you have to make sure you’re on top of your stuff.”

Flemming adds that golf, a notoriously tough sport, can teach athletes how to deal with adversity.

“Playing golf on the team teaches you self-discipline, how to make smart decisions and calculate risk. And how to handle failure,” Flemming says. “It’s not like hockey where you can go out and have a decent shift. You either hit a good shot or you don’t.”

The Dino’s golf team may lack a distinct identity, but Flemming and Scheidt say the team places value on respect and sportsmanship.

“You can tell very quickly if someone is not keeping their emotions in check,” Scheidt says. “We don’t tolerate any bad behavior, so to speak, on or off the course” he says.

The team is self-funded and relies on sponsorships and donations. A shortfall in the 2016–17 season prevented the team from attending the RCGA tournament. While some of the athletes funded their own trip, Flemming said those members did not do as well as they could have.

Scheidt said that attending nationals as a team likely would have meant greater success.

“It’s easier to keep a positive mentality when you have friends in the same situation as you,” he says.

This summer, Flemming and Scheidt hope to attract more support for the Dinos golf team. They are currently planning for their first fundraiser and a summer-long raffle for a new set of clubs.  

“There is a huge golf community in Calgary,” Scheidt says. “If we can reach out and let them know about our program, it would not just go well for fundraising, but simply put our name out there.”

For more information about the Dinos golf team, click here.

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