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Men’s Golf: Golfers get break, practice outdoors

Cory Bernard | Monday, March 7, 2011

The No. 26 Irish received a welcome break from competition on Saturday as they participated in the Alumni Matches in Scottsdale, Ariz., a series of rounds between current and past Notre Dame golfers at the Whisper Rock Golf Club, which also allowed the team get some outdoors practice for a change.

Irish coach Jim Kubinski said the laid-back atmosphere was fun, but that it also allowed his squad to get some work in areas that cannot be easily replicated by the indoor facilities at Warren Golf Course.

“They went about a lot of different things,” he said. “The big thing is we’re out in the wind. We can’t simulate that indoors. Also, the guys got a lot of work on their wedge shots, playing in grass.”

Arriving in Scottsdale on Thursday with the entire team, the Irish practiced Friday and competed Saturday, before practicing more on Sunday and heading home.

1961 graduate Michael Geddes paced the alumni while juniors Max Scodro and Chris Walker led the current Irish with rounds of 70 and 71 on Saturday, respectively. Besides performing well on the course, Walker contributed greatly to Notre Dame’s time in Arizona. A club member at Whisper Rock, Walker’s grandfather Joe Moeller hosted the Irish for the long weekend. Kubinski was especially pleased with the hospitality Moeller showed his squad.

“It was fantastic,” Kubinski said. “I can’t thank Joe Moeller enough, he did a fantastic job. We got to play at some phenomenal courses.”

In addition to playing at Whisper Rock, the Irish also had the opportunity to play at Scottsdale’s renowned Estancia Club.

Kubinski said the alumni always enjoy playing the current Irish golfers, a tradition that has been in place since he came to Notre Dame.

“A lot of the alumni told me they really enjoy playing us,” Kubinski said. “We’ve played this every year, and this is our second time in Scottsdale. It’s just a great event for everyone.”

The extra practice Notre Dame got over the weekend comes just in time for a tough stretch over spring break. The Irish square off against Yale in Greensboro, Ga., on Monday. The following weekend they will be competing in the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational in Statesboro, Ga., an event Kubinski said has one of the top competitive fields in the nation.