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Inside Buccaneer Sports: A legacy on the links

April 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Inside Buccaneer Sports 0402

The Beloit College men’s golf team will begin its final spring season in a couple of weeks, when they compete at the Ripon College Invite at Lawsonia Golf Club in Green Lake, Wis.

The program has a long and successful history at Beloit, which began during the late 1920s before earning varsity status in 1932. In that first varsity season the Gold won the Big Four Championship, which consisted of teams from Beloit, Carroll, Lawrence, and Ripon. They also won seven State Championships between 1937 and 1954 and the Midwest Conference Championship in 1941 and 1962. 

The Big Four Championship team consisted of Captain Ed Landstrom, Ray Caron, Walter Blakely, and Wally Brown under coach Bob Jaggard. Landstrom was the Big Four medalist.

Art Floberg was the first “star” golfer at Beloit, playing from 1937 to 1939.  He is one of only ten golfers in MWC history to capture Medalist honors twice, and he also won the state championships twice (and finished second by a stroke in a third year). In his three seasons he had a 24-2 record in dual competitions. In 1939, he competed at the National Intercollegiate Tournament at Notre Dame and advanced to the quarterfinals of the meet.  He defeated the Big Ten medalist from Northwestern in his first match; the former Western Amateur Champion from the University of Detroit in his second match; and a golfer from the University of Oklahoma in his third match to advance to the quarters. In the quarterfinal match he finally fell to the eventual meet champion from Tulane University.

Other top players during the pre- and post-World War II years included Don Sandro, the team’s no. 1 in 1940; H. Hurst Gibson, who won MWC medalist honors in 1941; Ken Lamb, the no. 1 man in 1949; and Ted Perring, who finished second at the state meet in 1951.

Beloit College was not a member of the MWC during much of the 1950s, but still enjoyed success on the links. In 1954 the squad posted a perfect 9-0 dual-meet record under head coach Dolph Stanley and then went 9-4 under head coach John P. Smith in 1956.

Back in the Conference in 1959 the team started a string of three straight seasons of finishing third at the MWC meet. The team went 7-2 in duals in 1961 to catapult them to the MWC Championship in 1962 behind co-medalist R. Philip Lindley.

The program finished third again in 1964 but that was the last top three finish as a team until they finished third in both 1984 and 1986. Dave Mitchell finished third as an individual in 1988, the last time the Buccaneers had a top-three individual golfer.

As the Bucs play out their final season in 2012, they can look back on an 80-year history of men’s golf at Beloit College and relish the history and success, of which they were a part.  

UP AHEAD IN BUCCANEER ATHLETICS

Go to www.beloit.edu/bucs to get the entire schedule and catch up on last week’s results.