How to shave more than 10 strokes off your golf game for dummies -- Aurora edition

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Alex Kubik is a coach’s dream.
My apologies for those coaches out there who haven’t had the privilege to work and associate themselves with the to-be senior from Aurora, because you’re really missing out. But, for those who have put Kubik under their wing, they’ll rant and rave about it until the cows come home.
Kubik’s golf game transformation may be the greatest example. I’ve got to say, watching a young man completely transform his game is utterly fascinating. Watching Kubik throughout this golf season was no different.
The big question that needed to be answered back in February was if or if not Kubik was ready to take that next step and really fill into the shoes of the No. 2 golfer
I only got to watch the tail end of last season when I got on the job, but it’s apparent from talking with several folks that Kubik was a solid, mid-80s golfer. He wasn’t ever real flashy, but consistent enough to get the job done. Which again led to the $1 million question if he was ready to take the next step.
To start the 2016 golf season, it seemed like Kubik was going to put up the same numbers -- a lot of mid-80 scores without a lot of flash and flare.
But, as the season started to progress, Kubik’s scores started to slowly creep lower. All of a sudden, there was an in-house competition between Kubik and Aurora’s No. 1 golfer, Caleb Badura, going for the team’s lower round.
Kubik finally did notch a lower round than Badura at the York Invite. I really think that flipped a switch inside his head. He knew that he has the capability of scoring low and playing right alongside his teammate, who was a state golf qualifier as a freshman and finished third in said tournament. By the time Kubik shot lower than Badura, he was in the lower 80s.
Kubik’s scores continued to drop -- luckily in golf, that’s a good thing, as opposed to that happening in school. (I can’t speak for Kubik’s school test scores).
He was able to post a couple of rounds of 76, setting a new personal record. Think about that -- in a matter of almost a month, Kubik’s score fell from an 87 to start the year to posting a 76. I can’t even fathom doing that on the golf course.
He followed up a third place finish at the conference meet with something I really didn’t see coming from him this year -- he won a golf tournament. Not only did he beat everyone in the field, he beat someone in a one-hole playoff!
I can’t imagine the type of pressure he was under teeing up for that playoff hole, knowing what was at stake and all those people lining the fairway. He’s definitely changed in more ways than one.
Kubik was able to sneak into the state tournament tied for 10th with an 83. Scores were a little elevated, but so was everyone else’s. You could see his frustration and nervousness waiting to know if he had gotten in. He wanted all of his hard work to pay off.
As a coach, this is exactly the example you’re asking for when you want a player to “buy in” to the system. Coach Craig Badura already had one of those guys on the team -- his own son.
Kubik put together one more run at the state tournament. After one day, he shot a 75 and was tied for seventh. A kid who wasn’t sure if he could make it this far at the beginning of the year was now vying for a state championship. How cool is that!
Kubik’s run didn’t start at the beginning of March. It began at the end of last golf season. He began to play in a lot more summer tournaments. He adjusted and worked on his swing. Once this season did start, he went to practice, and then kept practicing once the coach left the course. “Practicing after practice.” It’s an addage that has made our sports heroes great. It’s also what Kubik did to knock off more than 10 strokes from his golf game.
Kubik is proof of the old addage, “practice makes perfect.”
RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at sports@ hamilton.net

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