Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to preparing for a golf tournament.
Hoosac Valley's Chad Alibozek and Drury's Alex Boulger each got a practice round in at Beverly Golf & Tennis Club on Sunday where they learned that the host course for the Division II State championships isn't as easy as it looks on paper.
"I think it's a tough course. It looks easy but it's going to be very tough," Alibozek said by phone after his practice round. "The greens are brutal and slope from front to back, they have so many mounds and breaks in them."
The par-70 course covers 5,966 yards and features some pretty straight holes. However, it's the holes that aren't straight shots that will be cause for concern.
"It starts with a lot of blind holes," Boulger said by phone following his practice round Sunday. "You can't see the green or where your ball lands, so I'll have to be careful on what kinds of clubs I hit on those. Other than that it should be a pretty good course for me.
"You pretty much have a view of the hole no matter where you are. Hopefully I'll just keep it where I want it."
It will be the first tournament for both players since the Western Massachusetts tournament that was held at Stockbridge Golf Club on Oct. 22. Alibozek took second place and Boulger took fifth to qualify for states. The state tournament was originally scheduled to be played in Lynn on Oct. 29, but Hurricane Sandy changed the schedule.
The storm and other inclement weather over the past two weeks prevented both Boulger and Alibozek from getting out onto the course as often as they would have liked. They each played at the course in Lynn on Oct. 28 before the tournament was postponed and relocated. They agreed that Beverly is a much nicer course.
Alibozek is trying to look at the lack of practice as a positive, however.
"The past couple of years I've had some pretty bad back pain at the end of the year and I don't now," the Hoosac senior said. "I feel pretty good going in, I'm loose and relaxed. The only thing is I hit a couple of really bad shots [Sunday], but I think I know what I can do to fix them."
Alibozek will start the tournament on the 15th hole. It's a 143-yard par-3 and the putting green is surrounded by sand bunkers. Boulger will begin his tournament on the 10th, a 266-yard par-4. His first hole features several hazards, including a river and bunkers.