By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sports/ email@example.com
When it comes to the sport of golf, confidence carries a ton of weight because the game focuses largely on the mental aspect.
For Havre High head golf coach Carla Bolken, Saturday's Havre Invitational is all about building confidence.
The 18-hole tournament at Beaver Creek Golf Course is the only tournament that the Blue Ponies will play at home this season, and Bolken said that it will be a good time for her players to be at home.
"We have been playing on some very tough golf courses this season and the kids are scoring pretty well," Bolken said. "I think that playing at home on our course will only help all of our kids because they know the course. They can relax and play golf and they are familiar with everything. I expect all of our kids to play well this weekend and that will only help their confidence for the rest of the season."
Confidence is something every golfer needs, but it is especially important to Bolken's young HHS girls team.
Havre has two seniors on the team, but only Brittany Job has extensive varsity experience.
Sophomore Ali Ward is the only other returning letter winner from last year, but she is still just a sophomore.
So for Bolken's newcomers who are still trying to find their way in competitive high school golf, playing at home this weekend will be huge.
"I think playing on our course will be especially important for our girls team," Bolken said. "Our younger girls are starting to play better each week. All of the kids performed really well in Helena last weekend, especially Stacy Sheppard and Cathy Beecher. So this weekend should be a really good tournament for all of them."
Meanwhile, the Havre High boys team is looking at being the favored team in a tournament for the first time this season.
The Ponies are coming off of a strong showing at the Helena Invitational and their varsity lineup of Ben Erickson, Anthony Wirtzberger, Matt Hedstrom, Brandon Job and Sean Strand will remain in tact.
Havre will also have a junior varsity team competing in the tournament at BCGC this weekend.
Joining the Ponies at BCGC on Saturday will be JV teams from both Great Falls High and CMR as well as Lewistown and Browning. Even though the Great Falls schools will bring some strong players, Bolken is expecting big things from both her squads on Saturday.
"I definitely think the boys are the favorites," Bolken said. "I am hoping that the Great Falls teams have some good competition for us, but our boys team knows this course and they know how to play it.
"I think our girls team should also do very well," she added. "It helps with nerves and pressure to know the course and know that they can play well here."
The Havre Invitational will get under way Saturday morning with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m.