Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Spring has been quite a worry for golfers who wanted to perfect their swing because of the residual snow on the ground. Fortunately for Charlie Braniff, he was able to swing his golf club successfully this season, adding three second places on his record. This St. Cloud Tech senior sucessfully wrapped up the Class 3A state individual title last June at Bunker Hills and his confidence which he had gained last year continue to brave him over this season.
“I have confidence this year, but last year’s confidence is last year’s,” he said. “I have to start fresh and build it up as a I go along.
“The weather’s been difficult on everyone in the state. There’s been a lot of practicing in gyms, which doesn’t do anybody a lot of good,” Braniff said.
Winning the state title and this summer’s State Junior Publinks tournament helped him get noticed by John Harris and the Golden Gophers’ program. He was an All-Central Lakes Conference pick the past two years and was also a 2010 team member of Team Minnesota in the Minnesota-Manitoba Cup matches.
“I think I surprised a lot of people last year,” Braniff said. “It kind of goes to show you what hard work can get you. You have to peak at the best part of the season, and that’s sections and state. State’s at Bunker Hills again and that gives me a lot of confidence. I know the course really well and know what it’s like to play in tournament conditions. That plays well to my game.”
Choosing Minnesota wasn’t that hard for Braniff once they showed interest in him. Braniff said he won’t redshirt next year and will play right away for the Gophers.
“I like being able to go somewhere where you know you’re going to play right away. That was a big factor,” Braniff said. “Most kids want to know that they’re going to play right away. It’s difficult to get better when you basically have to take a year off and just practice.”