The great Bob Hope provided an appropriate summation of the oft-maddening sport of golf, saying, "If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play at it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf."
On a crisp early October Thursday, the Park City High School boys' golf team proved, once again, that it's better at the hair-pulling, habitually profanity-inducing pastime than anyone else in 3A. The Miners, for the fifth consecutive year, won the 3A state championship, meaning no other group of golfers since 2007 has hoisted the trophy skyward. Adding to its collection of crowns, Park City has now won nine state golf championships, according to the Utah High School Activities Association's sports records book. The program is currently tied for fourth place with 4A Highland High School for most state team titles won.
What makes this dynasty more astonishing is that this is golf arguably the most difficult individual sport to play and succeed in which needs at least six golfers to perform reasonably well in a two-day span to give a program a fighting chance for a title.
This year's Miners sent their top six golfers to the state tournament, but throughout the season, a dozen golfers of different ages and talent levels allowed Park City to cruise through region play. In one tournament, it was senior Justin Shluker (who defended his individual 3A title Thursday) leading the way and in the next it was freshmen Mitch Schow and Drew Fleming shooting in the mid 70s.
And if anything, it's unfair to the competition. This particular dynasty loses three seniors, but retains three top-10 finishers at this year's state tournament and a plethora of others waiting in the wings for their chance to add to the lore of the Park City program.
Golfing legend Ben Hogan once said, "I'm glad I brought this course, this monster, to its knees." In the last five years, the Miners have taken every state-title course to its knees and danced and celebrated, and rightfully so.
This year's Park City High School boys' golf team consisted of: Harry Hanskat, Jackson Rogers, Adam Eisenbarth, Jack Egan, Jalen Roberts, Justin Shluker, Tommy Halsey, Cole Tan, Colton Kissell, TJ Mayo, Drew Fleming and Mitch Schow, and was coached by George Murphy.