Dodgers focus on finding level of consistency

Playing with more consistency will be a main point of emphasis this season for the Fort Dodge boys golf team.

The Dodgers return five letterwinners to their roster from last fall:?seniors Thomas Hartley, Drew Hansen, Thomas Lang and Kaden Peterson and sophomore Zach Colin.

“Our expectations are obviously higher than last fall,” said second-year FDSH coach Ryan Kinseth. “With our experience coming back, we’re hoping to be more competitive. I’d like to see us win a couple of dual meets this season.”

Hartley will once again hold down the No. 1 spot for the Dodgers, while the rest of the lineup remains unsettled. Hartley’s low 18-hole score as a junior was an 82. He averaged a 90 per round.

Hartley’s best nine-hole tally a year ago was a 37.

“Thomas is our team captain, but the other spots are still kind of up for grabs,” Kinseth said. “Lang and Hansen each saw a little varsity time last year. I’m hoping they can take another step forward.”

Kinseth noted one area his squad must continue to address.

“The biggest thing we need to improve on is our short game,” said Kinseth, a former Dodger standout and the reigning FDSH?city champion. “When we have a chance to make par, we need to be able to do it. Overcoming bad shots and not letting missed putts get the best of you will be important.”

Junior Devin Summers could also make an impact at various points for the Dodgers. Gone from a year ago are Austin Sorenson, Matthew Delaney, Nick Pecka and Isaac Poldervaart.

Fort Dodge hosts its fifth annual Phil Joselyn Invitational on Sept. 2 at the Country Club.

“To have that big of a meet at our place is huge,” Kinseth said. “It’s crucial for our guys to learn how to handle strong competition.”

The Dodgers visit CIC Northern Division rival Marshalltown for their debut Thursday. This year’s CIC Invitational is set for Oct. 1 at Briarwood in Ankeny.

Districts will be Oct. 6 at Waveland in Des Moines.

“Golf in 4A is always going to be tough,” said Kinseth. “Only having three days of practice before heading down to (the)?Elmwood (Country Club in Marshalltown)?for our first meet will be a little bit of culture shock.”