The Bates Men’s and Women’s Golf teams begin a highly anticipated season as they move on from the passing of legendary coach Robert C. Flynn. A four sport coach, Flynn passed away on July 31 after 41 years at Bates College.

Coach Flynn began his career with the Bobcats in 1965 as an assistant football coach. After a three year stint with the football team, he became head coach of nordic skiing in 1968. Flynn would hold this position until 1990, catapulting the Bates skiing program to the powerhouse it is today. Flynn notably played a big part in bringing the 1976 NCAA ski championships to Maine.

A testament to his talent and reputation on campus, Coach Flynn then was the head coach of the baseball team from 1991-1999, and the golf team from 1996-2015. I can’t say enough about how great of a person Coach Flynn is,” golfer Brad Rutkin ‘17 said, “I’ve played lots of different sports, but I’ve never met someone who cares as much about his players.”

In absence of Coach Flynn, Bates golf will be managed by James Upham, assistant coach for the nordic ski team. Upham will take care of travel arrangements, recruiting, and budget oversight, while Martindale Country Club golf pros, Nick Glicos and Kyle Bourassa, will take over coaching and instructional duties.

Leading the men’s team this year will be senior captains Alex Stekler ‘17 and Rutkin.  Expectations are high as the team returns all of its players from last season. Penelope Ganske ‘17, Sarah Centanni ‘17, and Emily Plotnikov ‘17 will serve as the women’s team captains.

This past weekend, Bates and ten other men’s golf teams competed in the 2016 Bowdoin Invitational at Brunswick Country Club. St. Anselm College of Manchester, New Hampshire won the two day event with a total score of 617. Bates finished in seventh place, edging out Colby by just one stroke.  Stekler lead the way for the Bobcats, shooting a 157 and tying for the 18th best score individually. Stekler displayed his superb course management skills and short game. Matt Marcus ‘18 finished in 21st place with a 158. Andrew Garcia-Bou ‘20 shot a team-best 78 on Saturday, followed by a 92 on Sunday. Rounding out the lineup was Rutkin and Liam McLoughlin ‘19, who carded a 163 and 168 respectively.

The women’s team competed in a match play style competition against Bowdoin on Saturday. Match play consists of five different one on one matchups; nine holes each. paced by Caroline Farber ‘20, Bowdoin defeated Bates in four out of five matchups and 191-161 in a combined score of the top four players. Kelly Wasserman ‘18 lead the way for the Bobcats, shooting a team-best 40, showcasing her length off the tee.

Rutkin is feeling optimistic about the team going forward, “This team is the deepest team we’ve had in years. The way we performed on Saturday really shows what kind of group we have. Our magic number going forward is to break 310.’’ No women’s team players were available to comment.

The Bobcats will compete in the Maine state championships next weekend.