Bison Athletics

Q&A With Men’s Head Golf Coach Steve Kennedy

Last season, the North Dakota State Men’s Golf Team came up just shy of glory, finishing second at the conference championships.

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Last season, the North Dakota State Men’s Golf Team came up just shy of glory, finishing second at the conference championships. However, there were still a number of very high highs for the squad with returning senior Nate Deziel winning the individual conference championship by five strokes.

We sat down with Head Coach Steve Kennedy to learn more about what is coming in the year ahead.


Q. Who should fans watch out for this year?

A. That’s a really hard question. We have nine guys on our team and they are nine very even players. If we’re looking at upperclassmen, Nate Deziel, Nate Adams and Brock Winter have all played on the conference team the last three years. So, I’m expecting big things from them. But our younger guys have had a great summer again… Right now, we have the luxury of having all nine guys battling for those five spots and they keep pushing each other.

Q. What can you tell our readers about the one new golfer you have this year, Jake Skarperud from Fargo?

A. He’s a kid that’s going to come in and compete right away. He has a great pedigree. His family is a golfing family. He had a lot of success in high school and the local tournaments around here and at the state tournament level. So I expect Jake to come in and be one of those young guys battling for a spot.

Q. With Tom Hoge’s recent success, a lot gets made about how he grew up here, in a northern state, where he didn’t have the opportunity to play in the offseason. How do you prepare your athletes to compete in this type of environment?

A. That’s one of the reasons that I recruit in the upper Midwest. All of our kids know how to put their clubs away for a while and then come out and compete right away. There’s really not a lot that we have to do to get them ready to compete in that spring season because that’s how they normally do it. Unlike someone that’s from Arizona, that’s used to playing year-round. They really struggle with putting their clubs away for a couple of months and then having to go out and start over again. Our guys are used to it. They kind of enjoy the fact that we don’t get to play year-round and they have that little chip on their shoulder to show everybody else that we can still win up here, even if we’re not outside playing.

Q. Who When you hear people talk about the transition from high school to college in football, you hear a lot about how much the speed of the game changes. What is the biggest adjustment you have to help these recruits get ready for when they come on campus?

A. One of the things that we really focus on is that we go to different courses every year, just about. So, they’re playing new tracks and they really have to study the course a lot before they get there. As far as our guys, they make a huge jump from their freshman to sophomore year in length because of our weight program. Our trainers do a fantastic job. They come in as skinny little kids. And after a year or so here, they look like athletes. They’re built. They’ve gotten a lot stronger and they hit the ball longer. That’s something you have to do in the game today. You have to hit the ball a ways to compete at the level that we do.

2022 Men’s Fall Golf Schedule

Sep 4-5
Island Resort Intercollegiate
Bark River, MI
Sep 6-7
NDSU Fall Invitational
Oxbow, ND
Sep 12-13
Kansas State Wildcat Invitational
Manhattan, KS
Sep 26-27
Zach Johnson Invitational
Des Moines, IA
Oct 17-19
Paintbrush Invitational
Denver, CO
Oct 24-26
ODU/Kilmarlic Tournament
Powells Point, NC
Apr-May 30-2
The Summit League Championship
Lincoln, NE
Q&A With Men’s Head Golf Coach Steve Kennedy
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