Golden Tornado deep in talent
Butler boys golf coach Travis Shingleton likes his team's chances this season.
“This is probably one of the better Butler teams I've seen in the past couple of years,” he said. “There's just scoring consistency and overall great leadership, great attitudes and a very large amount of talent on this team.”
A lot of his confidence is rooted in the Golden Tornado's four seniors, who Shingleton believes have a lot of advantages in their final season.
One such edge is course recognition. Now that the quartet has played the tracks on Butler's schedule competitively multiple times, he said the veterans can limit mistakes by drawing from lessons learned in previous rounds.
He also thinks they've learned how to manage their time and how to fit their golf schedules in with the day-to-day demands of being students.
And, of course, he's counting on them to help lead their younger teammates along, a duty Tommy Dimun said fellow upperclassmen Jake Campbell, Corey Pizor and Josh Tilko are taking seriously.
“We can just help them around the course if they need help,” Dimun said. “We've been through it already.”
That mentoring is already producing early results. Shingleton said freshman Nick Leone has been shooting at par or better consistently and complementing his more experienced teammates nicely.
The Tornado is off to a 4-3 start this season, which Dimun thinks his teammates can improve on by achieving more consistency.
If they can do that, he believes they can better use their strengths such as driving distance to come out on the winning end more often.
“We're a pretty long team,” Dimun said. “We hit the ball pretty far.”
And though the record indicates the team hasn't quite hit its stride yet, Shingleton said he's pleased with the improvements his players have made to their short games. He's also appreciated the times players have gotten together to play outside of the team's workout and practice schedules. With that in mind, he believes Butler will be able to compete for the WPIAL title by season's end.
“I don't see anything that really worries me so far this year other than it's fall in western Pennsylvania, so courses start preparing for winter,” he said, “so there's a little different playing position sometimes.”
Travis Bittner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.