Student golfers at Harlingen CISD will now have their own place to practice: a new golf station located near Cano Freshman Academy.
“Golf has always been a mainstay in our community and in our school district,” Harlingen High School Golf Coach James Milligan said. “It has been something that we have been very competitive with over the last several decades, and I think the school district and the community have taken notice and know that our kids work really, really hard. We represent well and so it is nice to have a place that we can call our own.”
Previously, students depended on public and private golf courses in the area to practice, and although they will continue to use local courses, HCISD will now have its very own golf station.
“This golf station is a lot closer to home,” Harlingen High School sophomore, Reagan Ramirez said. “Having the opportunity to come here is great.”
One of the inspirations for building the new golf station was the need for more practice space.
“We are always trying to give our programs every advantage that we possibly can to be successful,” Director of Athletics Robert Davies said. “We have a beautiful private course here in Harlingen and two beautiful public courses, but sometimes we don’t have enough room to have all of our kids practice, so that was part of the motivation in creating this space. The idea also was for this to be a place where we introduce our middle school kids to golf and possibly even bring some elementary kids out and put a golf club in their hands for the very first time for many of them.”
Last year, the golf season was interrupted when schools closed towards the end of the year due to COVID-19. Harlingen High School South senior, Javier Vento reflected on the impact the pandemic had on golf.
“I was disappointed that we missed out last year due to COVID,” Vento said. “I thought we had a good shot of doing good at district and maybe regionals. The whole team was coming into form right at the end, but COVID honestly made us stronger because now we know what to do. Just because that happened doesn’t mean that we can’t play golf. We can still practice; we can still work hard.”
When asked why he played golf, Vento said, “You depend on yourself for the most part, and the sport relies on you and how strong you are mentally and physically.”
As the year progresses, the golf station will be seeing a couple of additional developments to further enhance the space.
“Right now, we want to add a pavilion and then later a storage facility,” Davies said. “As far as an overall place for kids to chip and putt and just get a feel for driving that ball into the net, this is ideal.”
Afterschool practices have officially started. The athletic department and golf coaches look forward to continuing to grow the program with all safety protocols in place.
“I appreciate our school district and our community supporting our athletic program,” Davies said.
As for the students, they just seem eager to be back at practice again.
“I am excited for this year, and to see what it brings,” Harlingen High School South sophomore Kylie Mitchell said.