OTTUMWA — It’s been a week like any other week prior to the national tournament for the Indian Hills golf team.
The Warriors spent last week hitting the links at Cedar Creek Golf Course to work on their games and prepare to battle 23 of the best teams in the country. On Monday, the players and coaches packed up the vans and headed off to the national tournament site.
Unlike almost every other year, however, the Indian Hills golf team wasn’t headed for the airport to board a plane. Instead, the Warriors made the shortest trip of any team in the tournament field to the national tournament course.
Spirit Hollow in Burlington is just 70 miles away from Ottumwa, giving the Warriors an advantage they’ve never owned before. IHCC will be the closest team in proximity to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Tournament, which tees off this morning at 7:30 a.m.
Head coach Mike Hagen, who be looking to lead Indian Hills to its third national title in four years, can’t wait to get it going.
“I think a lot of guys enjoy flying and they like taking the trips, but it’s also an extra couple of days traveling that can wear on your body,” Hagen said. “It’ll be nice just to hop in the van and make that short 80-minute drive this year.”
There’s certainly a lot going for the second-ranked Indian Hills golf team as begin their quest for the program’s fourth overall national title. The Warriors have won their last three tournaments, including an impressive showing in the District III Tournament two weeks ago in Lawrence, Kansas.
For Hagen, the most recent win by IHCC might be the most important based on the national tournament history of the Warriors in recent years.