With spring just around the corner, the CSU men's and women's golf teams have already begun the 2005 season.
Neither team has competed since November, but both have been practicing and preparing with high hopes for the upcoming season.
"Our goals as a team are to win a tournament. We have the players. Possibly the only thing holding us back is a little inexperience," said junior Kevin McAlpine. "We are looking to get off to a good start in Hawaii and follow on from there. The end goal is to make it to regionals, and finals."
The men's golf team works continuously to sharpen its game.
"It's definitely a year-round commitment," said head coach Jamie Bermel.
In the winter months, the teams are unable to hit the links in the traditional sense, but the snow and cold does not stop the players from swinging away. The team trains at Golf Dynamics, a new state-of-the-art indoor golf facility located in south Fort Collins.
"It has 30-foot-high ceilings, large nets, video cameras built in the walls, computers and TV cameras built in the walls to help golfers analyze their swings," said senior John Hayes. "It's especially nice to have a quality indoor practice facility this time of year."
The facility is large enough to hit with a driver, which is unusual for indoor golfing facilities. Golf Dynamics is also staffed with golf professionals who help the teams with technique and swing analysis.
The men aren't the only ones who live and die for golf, as the women play rain or shine.
When the weather is agreeable the teams practice at Fort Collins County Club and Colindale in Fort Collins, as well as Ptarmigan and Highland Meadows, both in Windsor.
"If there is no snow, we're playing," said women's head coach Angie Hopkins.
The teams also train physically during the off-season. The men's team meets at 7 a.m. three to four days a week. The women's team also follows a training schedule of lifting and cardio, meeting three times a week.
"I'd say we have a pretty good off-season program set up," McAlpine said. "We have a list of stretches and exercises to do, which followed on from the workouts we had already been doing. They focused on core strength, shoulders, legs, balance and cardio."
McAlpine is a native of Scotland, which is where the game of golf traces its origins.
The golfers are constantly refining their games in their own time as well.
"I had things to work on, short game in particular, and when I had the chance, I was out there playing or practicing," McAlpine said. "The off-season and Winter Break is all about being lucky with the weather. I went back home to Scotland for Winter Break and was lucky with the weather, so I got in a fair bit of golf."
The men's team heads to Hawaii to kick off the season with its first tournament beginning Feb. 23. The women's team travels to California for a tourney hosted by San Jose State March 8-9.