Opening day for the Harrisonville and Pleasant Hill golf teams felt like a beautiful March spring day, if you were playing in North Dakota. The temperature at Royal Oaks Golf Course in Knob Noster was a balmy 37 degrees. Add a 10-mile-an-hour breeze and the wind chill was 29.9 degrees.
Talk about brutal conditions. Last fall, not even the Pleasant Hill or Harrisonville football teams played in this type of weather. However, these kinds of conditions are not uncommon early in the golf season.
Despite the conditions, the day was a good one for both schools. Pleasant Hill won the March 25 match over Harrisonville 175–182. Harrisonville’s Nick Johnson was the medalist on the day, shooting a 39, 3 shots over par.
“Every year the start of the season is cold,” Pleasant Hill Coach Eric Bloom said. “We practice a lot in the cold before the season begins so they get used to knowing what warm clothes to wear, what extra things they need to have with them like hand warmers, gloves and things of that nature.”
Still, cold is cold. It certainly affects athletes physically and mentally.
“With the cold conditions, it’s 95-percent mental. Once you give up to the cold you have already been defeated,” said Bloom.
Harrisonville coach Mark Rovig agreed. “Psychologically the cold gets into your head. You can’t escape the fact you’re cold, especially knowing you’re going to have to walk another two and a half hours.”
While the conditions were difficult, they weren’t the worst Johnson has ever competed in.
“One time I golfed in a monsoon,” Johnson said. “It was pouring hard, it was cold, there were puddles on the green, and it was really bad. As far as lousy conditions go, today was about a 5 on a scale from one to 10.”
The Wildcats and Roosters were to play again March 27 in the Oak Grove tournament at Adam’s Pointe golf course in Blue Springs. While the temperature was supposed to be warmer, there was also a 50-percent chance of rain.
Which would make for another memorable round of golf.