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A petition has been launched calling on the Minnesota State High School League to designate golf as a fall sport following the grim start to spring.

The petition launched by Michael Hinton, the golf coach at The Blake School, has 867 signatures as of Saturday morning, and cites numerous reasons for why the change needs to be made.

"We've had it. It's time," Hinton starts. "We as the golf community give our full sport to our schools, our athletes and our game in an effort to change the high school golf season to a fall sport."

Chief among the reasons is the weather, coming on the heels of a prolonged period of wintry weather that has seen the start of April subjected to snow flurries and heavy rain.

"What other sport has a month where you can't play, or play your first "match" at a halfway season conference tournament? None. Would football ever start their season with the conference championship? Never. This is so ridiculous it's a total slap in the face to our game and our kids," Hinton writes.

He notes the fact that spring often sees high schoolers competing with amateur golfers for tee times as the season ramps up after the long winter, with Hinton noting it's getting harder for coaches to schedule.

Hinton also argues that a spring start time makes it more difficult for players from lower income families.

"Golf is cheap, the state has various free programs like the First Tee where kids of color and any background can participate for free and get free equipment. Let the kids play in the entire summer, get coaching and develop. It's not fair to kids who can't afford to travel on spring break or afford golf lessons or simulators in the winter. All kids should be able to work on their game over the summer and make our state tournament stronger."

A commenter leaving a message on the petition does criticize Hinton for reason No. 3, in which Hinton says the spring start makes it more difficult to attract female players. "How are you going to grow the game of golf, especially to young women, by making them play in the snow and in 40 degree weather? he says. "Girls want to play in warm weather, not freezing cold temperatures and rain/snow."

The MSHSL declined to make a comment when asked by WCCO, which notes moving golf to the fall would mean a fall sport would have to move to the spring.

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