SAIT sets the par high
Golf returns to SAIT after 17 years off Trojans roster
After 17 years, the SAIT golf team is returning, with a local pro as head coach.
Golf was discontinued in 2001, but athletics manager Bob Murray said he thinks the increased popularity of the sport made it return.
Murray said he thinks golf ended then because the sport was not growing, and because there was not as much strength in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) as there is now.
“Over this last decade and a half, the sport itself has grown collegiately,” said Murray.
“Under this new management in the athletics, we saw that there was value.”
He said that in Calgary golf is huge, and it’s an attractive opportunity for SAIT and the athletics program.
“I think that adds value, male and female, it’s another opportunity to get out and continue to play the game you love,” said Murray.
Murray is a strong advocate for the relaunch of the golf team, and is excited to see students become more passionate about their favourite sport.
The Trojans hired Stephen Yanitski, an assistant golf professional at Valley Ridge Golf Course and former assistant golf coach and athlete at the University of Alberta, as head coach.
Murray said that a big reason why Yanitski was an ideal candidate was because of his background of being a student athlete at U of A.
“He kind of understands the post-secondary sport world, particularly golf. How quick the season is, all that stuff,” said Murray.
Yanitski said he plans on bringing his recent coaching and playing experience to the course.
He said that players should expect a lot of swing training, and swing coaching as primary focuses because of the short golf season.
The head coach said one current obstacle the team faces is their amount of exposure, and plans to fix that by having a presence at every Trojan event.
So far, he has established a presence on social media, and connected with local golf clubs to inform them that the team has returned.
“We’re starting to see the fruit of that labour,” said Murray.
“We have more and more people contacting us.”
Yanitski said he’s fuelled by student athletics, and wants to be there for all players no matter what. He said he wants to be somewhat of a liaison between SAIT athletics and academics.
The 36-hole tryout will be held Sept. 2 and 3 at Valley Ridge Golf Course. Tee times will begin at 2:30 p.m.. Yanitski said the team is looking for players with great sportsmanship and playability, rife with good character.