Robbie Etzel was named the new Carbon boys’ golf coach last week. Etzel represented the school on the course when he was a student, dedicating four years to the program. He then received his associate’s at Utah State University Eastern before transferring to University of Utah to complete his bachelor’s in finance with a minor in Spanish.
Etzel has now moved back to the area and is excited to take over the program he knows and loves. When asked about his upcoming goals, Etzel replied that interaction with his players as been limited due to the pandemic.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to a lot of the boys. I know they lost a big group of seniors,” he explained. “I know for a younger team, it’s just trying to build a solid base and get to where you got six quality guys that can go out there and shoot consistent numbers.”
Although the Dinos may be younger, they are looking to build on their third-place finish from a year ago. “I know Bode [Salas] is shooing for a state championship this year. If we can’t at least get it on the team level, maybe [we can] on the individual level,” said Etzel. “I know these kids have some high expectations.”
“[Golf] is a game of repetition, but it’s also a game that you have to really know yourself, know your swing, know what you are capable of and know where you are comfortable because conditions can change really quick.” Etzel continued, “We travel so much; we have a chance to play a lot of incredible courses across central and southern Utah. Our state championship is actually up in Morgan in October. So, that can pose some interesting conditions.”
The Dinos and Etzel know that they will have to improve individually in order to reach their goals collectively. “It’s more or less helping the boys figure out what part of their game they are lacking in… it differs so much from player to player.” Etzel explained that some golfers have a great short game, but struggle off the tee, and vice versa.
The Dinos will look to defend their region title but have their sights set higher. “They have really created a solid program with some high expectations. I shouldn’t have to set the bar high for the boys,” Etzel said. “I think they have played long enough under either TK or Brett Johnson that they know where they should be playing at, they know their skill level and they know that they have all the potential there is to take a state championship.”
According to Etzel, that is the ultimate goal. “Every year, you’re always shooting for a state championship. But, at the end of the day, it’s just going out there as an individual in every tournament, whether it’s state or region, and putting up the best score you that you can and hoping that you get three other guys that do the same.”
Etzel wrapped things up by asking for community members, fans and parents to support the Carbon teams. “Whether it is golf, or any fall sport for that matter, just go out there and support the Carbon High teams and the kids in the community. They are putting in a lot of hours and a lot of time to play at a high level and just like the [athletes] in spring, you never know if the season could be cut short.”