Penn Hills golfers lean on 3 returning starters

Thursday, August 29, 2019 | 6:00 PM

After 30 years of coaching, Charlie Buttgereit continues to share his love for golf with those involved in the Penn Hills golf program.

The Indians, who have split their first four matches this season, return their three top starters from last year’s four- win team.

Senior Gene Brown and juniors Joel Brayton and David Lubawski all return. Brown is a four-year starter, while Brayton and Lubawski are three-year starters.

Buttgereit leans on Brown to provide leadership for the inexperienced golfers on the team.

“I think they have learned how to manage their games. They learned how to be a little smarter on the course and avoid the big numbers by avoiding areas where you’re penalized,” Buttgereit said.

“Their swings are developing. They have worked on their short game. We all know that’s how you score. There are a lot of guys that can hit the ball a long way, but you need to know how to chip, pitch and putt.”

The Indians have a larger roster this season with eight golfers, which provides Buttgereit much-needed depth. Buttgereit hopes for the Indians to average around the mid-230s this season.

Sophomore Jordan Wolfe returns for his second season, while Buttgereit welcomes two newcomers — sophomore Charlie Joe Rosemeyer and freshman Lucy Brayton.

Rosemeyer plays for the Penn Hills soccer team. Junior Joe Mitlo and freshman Bella Mitlo, Penn Hills girls volleyball coach Jay Mitlo’s children, are members of the golf team.

“We want them to do the best they can and to get better in practice. In matches, we want them to enjoy the day and work to get better. No matter how you’re playing that day, we want them to grind the rest of the way,” Buttgereit said.

In an effort to generate interest in the program, Buttgereit was hosting clinics at the Fralic Center during the winter and spring.

This season, the Indians have won matches against Gateway (241-264) and Freeport (236-251), while losing to Fox Chapel (197-253) and Franklin Regional (212-236).

Penn Hills will look to compete with the rest of Section 4-3A, which includes top programs Central Catholic and Fox Chapel. Last season, Central Catholic defeated Fox Chapel in the WPIAL championship.

The Indians will to test their abilities against Franklin Regional, Gateway, Plum and Woodland Hills.

Buttgereit hopes his golfers continue to have a short-term memory on the golf course, especially if they have struggles with particular hole.

“We can compete with some teams in our section and even though you’re not playing well that day if you shoot 49 rather than a 50 that one stroke can make a difference in the match,” Buttgereit said.


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