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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Golf

Dismuke has a problem: too many skilled young golfers


Sophomore Curtis Reed is one of several important building blocks for the Cougars. As a freshman, he finished tied for fourth at the Seminole Intercollegiate tournament and tied for fifth at the Conference USA Championship. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Sophomore Curtis Reed is one of several important building blocks for the Cougars. As a freshman, he finished tied for fourth at the Seminole Intercollegiate tournament and tied for fifth at the Conference USA Championship. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Ideally, head coach Jonathan Dismuke said he would like to play one freshman regularly — maybe two at most.

Last season Dismuke had four freshmen play 10 or more events.

“Four guys can be daunting because every experience they have is new, and it can be tough for them to play week in and week out,” Dismuke said. “Ideally, you’d like them to have time to reflect on their mistakes and improve. What we asked them to do last year, they didn’t have that.”

The four freshman – Curtis Reed, Jesse Droemer, Bryn Flanagan and Wesley McClain – helped the Cougars finish as high as fourth on two occasions, including at the Conference USA Championship, but also as low as 15th twice.

“You know what you’re getting into or you should know when you’re playing that many young guys,” Dismuke said. “If they play great, they’re going to play great. But when they struggle, they’re really going to struggle.”

Despite the erratic play of freshmen, Diskmuke said he feels the Cougars are better for the experience, as he continues to grow the program.

“It was a lot to throw at that many young guys,” Dismuke said. “But I think they did a tremendous job over the course of the year and I was very proud of them. I think we’ll be better for it in the future.”

That future will include last season’s standouts, as well as two promising incoming freshmen in Kyle Pilgrim and Roman Robledo.

A multi-sport athlete in high school, Pilgrim has room to grow as he just began prioritizing golf full-time.

“He is a very talented player,” Dismuke said. “He was a multi-sport athlete in high school, who just started focusing on golf during his last year of high school. I think he’ll come in and develop fast. He’s very smart. He’s going to be a part of the honors college and be a tremendous asset at the University of Houston.

“Roman Robledo, physically he’s one of the most gifted I’ve ever seen. He’s extremely mature physically and ahead of the curve development-wise for incoming freshman. I expect him to do some great things this year and be one of our best players.”

The Cougars will also welcome junior James Ross from Michigan State.

For Dismuke and the Cougars, the amount of depth can only make the squad stronger.

“Being fresh and having time to practice and reflect on your mistakes is really valuable in terms of long-term player development,” Dismuke said.

“Having the depth to mix the lineup up a little more this year will keep us a lot more fresh and help us improve over the course of the year.”

The Cougars are young, but Dismuke is optimistic about the outlook for the upcoming season.

“I think they have good core values,” Dismuke said. “They want to do great things and it should be a year to watch.”


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