July 12, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame men’s golf head coach Jim Kubinski has announced the team’s 2016-17 schedule, which will include six fall tournaments followed by six more events during the spring season.
Sticking with tradition, the fall season will open at home with Notre Dame’s Kickoff Challenge at the Warren Golf Course (Sept. 3).
The remainder of the fall schedule includes five three-round tournaments, starting with the University of San Francisco’s Olympic Club Intercollegiate (Sept. 12-13). The famed Olympic Club has hosted 10 USGA events including U.S. Opens in 1955, 1966, 1987, 1998 and 2012. Former Notre Dame student Billy Casper won the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in 1966, while Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson have finished second in U.S. Opens held at the Olympic Club.
“An opportunity to test yourself, where the best players in the world have gone before you is something that will surely awaken our competitive juices,” Irish assistant coach Scott Gump said.
The Irish close out September by playing at Georgia State’s Maui Jim Intercollegiate at the Tom Fazio designed Mirabel Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona (Sept. 23-25).
“The tournament field at Mirabel will make it one of the premier events in the country and will really give our players an opportunity to show off their skills,” Gump added. “Desert golf can be a different test, depending upon the conditions and the winds.”
“As the co-defending champions of this event, we know that our players will be itching to repeat the victory,” Gump continued. “The guys know every inch of the course and that week will all come down to execution.”Next up, the Irish play host to the annual Fighting Irish Golf Classic at the Warren Golf Course, with this season’s installment including three rounds over three days (Oct. 9-11).
To close out the fall portion of the schedule, Notre Dame will play in the Georgetown Intercollegiate at the Four Streams Golf Club in Beallsville, Maryland (Oct. 17-18) and the McNeese State Quail Valley Collegiate Invitational at the Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida (Oct. 24-25).
“On our previous visit to Four Streams, we finished second so we know the guys will be looking to improve upon that. The course has a parkland feel and gives you straightforward shot value,” Gump said.
The Irish open the second semester by returning to play in Ball State’s Yestingsmeier Match Play event at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Dade City Florida (Feb. 13-14). Last season at the Yestingsmeier Match Play, Notre Dame earned runner-up honors.
"We're excited to return to Lake Jovita,” Kubinski said. “Not only was it the site of our thrilling, come from behind win in the 2006 BIG EAST Championship but we also kicked off our spring there last season. We'll have several players returning who know the golf course. It's a great format, match play, to get going again after the long semester break.”
Notre Dame will also play in the National Invitational Tournament at Omni Tucson National in Tucson, Arizona (Feb. 27-28) for the second consecutive season.
“We saw a couple of our players play well there last season, especially Ben [Albin], and feel greater familiarity and experience will afford us a great opportunity this season,” Kubinski added. “It's a golf course that has hosted both PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions events over the years, meaning it's a good test of golf. There are plenty of birdie opportunities but also two or three holes that get your attention.”
The Irish will then play at Georgia Southern’s Schenkel Invitational at the Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Georgia (March 17-19). Notre Dame last played in the Schenkel Invitational in 2013.
“We're returning to the Schenkel, which is one of the oldest events in college golf,” Kubinksi added. “We've played several times throughout my tenure and appreciate the opportunity to compete against another strong field. In 2016 it took some very, very low scores to be in contention, which I like. Forest Heights will punish poor shots but also reward good ones so it is player friendly. The committee there also does a tremendous job with their hospitality efforts and in offering a fun and very collegiate feel to the week.”
Next up, Notre Dame will play at Seattle University’s Redhawk Invitational at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington (April 3-4). Chambers Bay played host to the 2015 U.S. Open when Jordan Spieth (-5) edged Dustin Johnson (-4) and Louis Oosthuizen (-4) to capture his second major championship of the 2015 season.
“We've not played in the state of Washington during my time here,” Kubinksi added. “Bandon Dunes in Oregon has been our only previous venture to the Pacific Northwest so we felt it was important, with our philosophy of playing a national schedule, to return to that area of the country. Chambers Bay can be a bear, if tough weather presents itself, but you can score under good conditions. We have multiple players who have competed there and very much look forward to competing at another major championship venue.”
Following the trip to Chambers Bay, the Irish will play host to the one-day Battle at the Warren (April 15) before heading to New London, North Carolina for the 2017 ACC Championship, which will once again be played at the Old North Course (April 21-23).
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Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).