Seniors get one last swing as Diamond Springs hosts junior golf open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to high school sports, many student-athletes lost out on their last chance to compete. But thanks to a local golf course, golfers are getting one last shot.

Diamond Springs Golf Course east of Hamilton is hosting a junior golf tournament this weekend. More than 100 players from all over the state will compete.

“Really excited. Really ready to finally compete against some players, especially from other schools… It’s just going to be fun to feel it again,” Colin Costello, who just wrapped up his junior year at Hamilton High School, said.

The tournament was the brainchild of Diamond Springs pro Kevin Arnold.

“I felt so bad for these kids, like every coach would,” he said.

Like many of the seniors who missed their last season of high school golf, Arnold had announced he was retiring as Hamilton’s golf coach.

“I need something like this, but the kids need it for sure. We see them come out here every once in a while and you know they want to play. Just the competition and the fun, the comradery, that’s what they needed,” he said.

David Courtright, who just graduated from Zeeland East, said he had big plans for 2020 before the pandemic.

“It was pretty devastating,” he said. “I was looking forward to a lot of things this year — a lot of tournaments, trying to back to state. I feel like the love for the game, everybody is just missing it.”

Holland Christian graduate Logan DeWitt, who without golf was scratching his competitive itch by playing Xbox, echoed those sentiments. Getting the chance to play for real puts a cap on a high school career that didn’t go as planned.

“It’ll be one to think back, like we went through it but we all battled through it,” DeWitt said.