ESTEVAN - Jace Carlisle was able to showcase his golf talents at a national level in the U.S. this month.
The Estevan-born and raised golfer, who plays for the Post University men's golf team in Connecticut, competed at the NCAA Division II Championship in Dearborn, Mich., from May 16-18 at the TPC of Michigan golf course.
Carlisle finished the three-round tournament with a 25-over par 241 (76-85-80), which left him 93rd.
“It was a good experience,” said Carlisle. “I didn’t play my best golf, but it was a good experience to see some of the best players in Division 2 playing, and it was motivating to practise more and get my game to that level so I can hopefully make it there again.”
Carlisle qualified for nationals after his performance at regionals. Two individual spots were available for golfers whose teams didn’t reach the national event. He was tied for fourth, and those who finished ahead of him were on teams that made it to the championship, so Carlisle advanced on his own.
“I wasn’t really worried about the individual spot, I wanted to get there with my team. Once it all came down to it, coming off the 18th green, I didn’t even realize I was going to be in contention for an individual spot.”
He didn’t swing a golf club for five months, either. He suffered a pinched nerve injury in his elbow in October, underwent surgery in January and didn’t swing a club again until March.
“I struggled a bit when I came back and started playing, but I knew where my game was at and I knew I could play well, so it felt really good to get there and have that experience,” said Carlisle.
Watching the other players helped him learn what it will take to get better.
The first day he said he hit a lot of fairways and greens in regulation. The wind picked up the second and third days, and he admits he didn’t play well in the second round.
“I feel like my short game really helped me out a lot. I was making a lot of ups and downs, and keeping myself out of trouble around the greens, which is key at that golf course, because it’s not the easiest golf course to play,” he said.
Carlisle transferred to Post University in 2020 after spending a year at Lake Superior State University in Michigan.
“Everything was going OK, but I didn’t see myself being there for four years, so I got myself a transfer portal, and Post coach [Steve] Sokol reached out to me. I thought it was going to be a good fit because their golf program is pretty good and they’ve had a lot of success,” said Carlisle.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he didn’t lose his first two years of eligibility, so technically he is considered a freshman and has three more years of eligibility.
Post has been a great experience, and he has made good friends on the golf team.
Carlisle hopes to spend the summer practising and getting ready for the upcoming season. He’ll work at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Course, and he has three events on his schedule, including a competition in the first weekend of June in Nipawin and the Saskatchewan Men’s Amateur in Prince Albert July 12-15. He hopes to get a spot for Team Saskatchewan for the Canadian Men’s Amateur, but if not, he’ll be competing at the Frametech Classic at Woodlawn in August.