The thick woods of Alvamar Country Club in Lawrence — site of today’s Class 6A state golf tournament`in Northeast Kansas — are far diferent to what Zach Kirby and his Dodge City High School teammates are used to in this part of the state.

    “Alvamar is a real tight course, meaning it has a lot of trees and you need to hit the fairway,” Dodge City head coach Jim Mapel said.”It doesn’t necessarily have to be the driver. It might be a 3-wood or a rescue wood or even a 5-iron or something like that. It’s not a real long course. The greens are really fast, so we (were) trying to simulate as the best we could some situations where we’ve got some putts from above from the cup or side-hill putts above the cup (during recent practices).

    “It’s hard to find something similar to that around here. There’s thick woods and if you hit it in the trees, you’re likely to lose your ball. There’s quite a bit of water hazards on it, too, so if you hit it too far offline, you’re going to make a big number. The greens are kind of similar in size to Mariah Hills, but they’re just more severe and there’s more slope to them.”

    Kirby is one of five freshmen from Dodge City High School — also Brad Hutton, Adam Dark, Justin Gemaehlich and Zach Norton — that will be making their first state appearance. Junior Brendan Herrera is also making his initial appearance for the Demons, who placed third as a team in regional play last Monday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City.

  


The thick woods of Alvamar Country Club in Lawrence — site of today’s Class 6A state golf tournament`in Northeast Kansas — are far diferent to what Zach Kirby and his Dodge City High School teammates are used to in this part of the state.
    “Alvamar is a real tight course, meaning it has a lot of trees and you need to hit the fairway,” Dodge City head coach Jim Mapel said.”It doesn’t necessarily have to be the driver. It might be a 3-wood or a rescue wood or even a 5-iron or something like that. It’s not a real long course. The greens are really fast, so we (were) trying to simulate as the best we could some situations where we’ve got some putts from above from the cup or side-hill putts above the cup (during recent practices).
    “It’s hard to find something similar to that around here. There’s thick woods and if you hit it in the trees, you’re likely to lose your ball. There’s quite a bit of water hazards on it, too, so if you hit it too far offline, you’re going to make a big number. The greens are kind of similar in size to Mariah Hills, but they’re just more severe and there’s more slope to them.”
    Kirby is one of five freshmen from Dodge City High School — also Brad Hutton, Adam Dark, Justin Gemaehlich and Zach Norton — that will be making their first state appearance. Junior Brendan Herrera is also making his initial appearance for the Demons, who placed third as a team in regional play last Monday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City.
    “It’s a great experience for these kids to play in a state tournament,” Mapel said, “and it’s going to be a learning experience, especially for our five freshmen. We’ll have a game plan for the golf course and try to get the best score we can.”
    Kirby won the regional championship, firing a 4-over-par 76 to beat Maize’s Daniel Marsh by one stroke.
    “When he gets up there, he’s just going to play Zach Kirby’s game,” Mapel said, “and try to ignore everything else and try to play the best that he can.
    “He’s a good ball-striker, and I say the probably the strength of his game is his chipping and putting. He probably works harder on his game than anybody we have, and he’s passionate about the game and he wants to get better and he puts in the time to do that.”
    Kirby says he is taking a one-shot-at-a-time approach.
    “We don’t get a lot of courses that are as tight as they are toward Northeast Kansas,” Kirby said. “You’ve got to take every shot one shot at a time and just concentrate on each shot and hit the ball as straight as possible.
    “There’s not near as much of margin for error on a course like that.”
    Kirby said that it is unique for the freshmen-laden group to be playing at the
    “It’s pretty neat, having a group that young going,” he said. “We’re having a lot of fun. We’re all thinking that it’s going to be a great experience.
    “We’re going to go up there and try to do our best.”