An Opportune Time to Play Well
Meet-a-Bison: Bill Carlson
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 16:10
This fall season has been one to remember for NDSU junior golfer Bill Carlson.
After losing leader Nathan Anderson to graduation and bringing on a third head coach in the time span of a year, Carlson had some big shoes to fill as a leader for the men’s golf team.
But thanks to a steady mentality and an improved game, Carlson has been just what the Bison needed this season.
“I feel like the last couple years, I’ve gotten a lot better,” Carlson said. “It’s hard to understand, but once you start focusing on why some people are better than others, it just comes down to they’re better mentally.”
Carlson, a former Fargo South standout, has averaged a team-best 1-under-par this fall.
Although he has set the bar for his team, which has placed second in two tournaments this season, Carlson is adamant his squad has been the main reason for their successes.
“As far as our team, there are a lot of good things going,” he said. “We’ve done pretty well.”
Under the direction of first-year head coach Steve Kennedy, Carlson has had his best year yet.
But Carlson’s swing and style of play is no stranger to Kennedy.
Kennedy, who coached Carlson during his days at Fargo South, has seen Carlson play for many years and thinks he knows why the junior has upped his play this year.
“Bill is just so steady,” Kennedy said. “Bill is the type of player that we can lean on every tournament. We know we’re going to use Bill’s score. He just never lets us down.”
Although Carlson and Kennedy have known each other for years, Carlson admitted he doesn’t get any special treatment.
“He treats me the same,” he said with a smile. “It’s kind of funny because most normal golf coaches will go and talk to their players during a round, but he kind of knows that I don’t really liked to be talked to so he goes and talks to other people.”
Whatever the coaching style, it must be working.
The highlight of Carlson’s year—and maybe his whole career—came when he won the NDSU-hosted Erv Kaiser Invitational at Oxbow Country Club. The Fargo native had to shoot 3-under in his final round to bring home the trophy.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to do that,” Carlson said. “It was a relief to get one and hopefully it won’t be my last.”
Kennedy said Carlson has been a big help for the team not only putting up solid scores, but also being a leader for the underclassmen learning what it takes to be a collegiate golfer.
“He keeps our team loose, but focused,” Kennedy said. “It just teaches the younger kids what it takes to succeed at this level.”
Though Carlson is currently playing at what may be his best game right now, Kennedy said it was no surprise to him. He claimed Carlson has been talented since his days playing for the Fargo South Bruins.
“He’s developed into such a good player,” Kennedy said. “I just see him with so much more consistency. Every time he tees it up, we can expect the best from Bill.”
However, with Carlson’s mental focus, it’s not hard to imagine he’ll continue to improve.
“If you get mad and showing your emotions, it’s going to reflect on your score,” Carlson said. “If you just try to keep a good attitude and not let the bad shots affect you, it’s really going to help you.”