Sept. 8, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa — THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s golf team opens its fall schedule Sept. 11-12 at the seventh annual Golden Gopher Invitational. The first and second rounds will be played consecutively on Sunday, beginning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. (CT). Tee times for Monday’s final round will begin at 8:30 a.m. Competition will be held at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minn. Fans can follow the action live at golfstatresults.com.
THE COURSE — Spring Hill Course at Spring Hill Golf Club was voted one of the top five courses in Minnesota in 2006. The par 72, 7,020 yard (bent grass) layout was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1999.
NEW FACES — The Hawkeyes are welcoming in three talented newcomers to the 2011-12 roster. Brian Bullington (Frankfort, Ill.) and Joseph Winslow (Overland Park, Kan.) will join Steven Ihm (Peosta, Iowa) in Hankins’ 2011 recruiting class. Bullington and Winslow were both prep standouts, while Ihm is an incoming sophomore that recently led Indian Hills Community College to an NJCAA National Championship.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS — Iowa will call on the experience of returning seniors Chris Brant, Barrett Kelpin, Jed Dirksen and Brad George, all of whom contributed to last year’s record-setting season. Brant ended the 2010-11 season with the second-lowest season scoring average in Iowa history (72.42) and led Iowa at the Big Ten Championships with a runner-up finish. He finished last season No. 23 in the Golfstat rankings and has been named to Golf Digest’s list of 50 college players to watch in 2011-12.
HEAD COACH Mark Hankins — Hankins is in his fifth year as Iowa’s head men’s golf coach after spending seven years as the head coach at Michigan State University. Under Hankins, the Hawkeyes finished last season ranked ninth among all NCAA Division I teams. Hankins’ 2010-11 squad is coming off a 10th place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships, Iowa’s best finish since 1960. After a second place finish at the 2010 Big Ten Championships, its best finish since 1992, Iowa placed third at the 2011 Big Tens. Hankins and company will look to make their fourth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance this season. Hankins is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and a graduate of Iowa State.