Cougars look to win national championship
After finishing last season ranked No. 10 in the nation, the men’s golf team ponders how they will build on their success and put UH golf back on the map.
When Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke took over the golf program five years ago, they were ranked 175th in the nation.
“We were fortunate last year to have a really good year, but we didn’t accomplish some of the things we initially set out to accomplish,” Dismuke said. “The guys are going to come back hungry and ready to do some good stuff again.”
The Cougars are proud of what they were able to accomplish last season, but they don’t plan to let up in terms of their goals this season. The team plans to keep building on those successes through the depth of the team that has changed since last year with newcomers, along with key returners.
UH has a solid cast of upperclassmen returning and some of these more tenured players will be required to step up and play at an even higher level.
Dismuke expects the maturity of seniors Roman Robledo and Kyle Pilgrim to help guide the younger players. Juniors Blair Hamilton and Vincent Martino flesh out the upperclassmen for this golf team.
The team includes five incoming players, three from the Houston area and two international players. The coaches expect some of the freshman to come in and make an immediate impact.
First-year associate head coach Ryke Dismuke, unrelated to Jonathan Dismuke, is hoping to instill a sense of work ethic and direction in the young men.
Ryke looks to help the team set its goals clearly and understand how to achieve them efficiently.
“We want to continue building on what they’ve been doing, and adding a new element of player development that wasn’t there before will clearly define what the players need to work on to improve at a faster rate,” Ryke Dismuke said.
The Cougars were particularly motivated by the accomplishments of the softball and baseball team this past spring.
“Success breeds success, so in the athletic community like UH has with its rich tradition, it’s nice to see your peers doing well in other sports, and that sparks them (the golf team) to do well in their own,” Ryke Dismuke said.
With success comes a new type of pressure that this team feels ready to confront. UH has set its sights on a national championship and won’t be satisfied until the goal is achieved.
“When you get into the top 10 in the country, it’s a little more difficult to do,” Jonathan Dismuke said. “But I expect our guys to improve and for us to compete for conference, regional and national championships.”