The fellow pulled his cart to a stop at Conway Country Club on Monday with the simple statement, "Man, it’s brutal."

He was talking about the temperature, not the course.

The same could be about the situation on football fields throughout the state.

The great outdoors seemed to be a great convection oven.

Particularly in the last few years, football coaches, athletic trainers and school officials have been extremely proactive about practices that begin in the hottest part of the summer. Players and parents have been given instruction about how to hydrate and how to do it well in advance. Athletic trainers and coaches keep a watchful eye. They have been trained to spot trouble.

Practices are not held in the heat of the day, which was almost a moot point Monday when the temperature reached 100 before noon. Most fields have ice and ice tubes handy if players become overheated.

Still, you hold your breath. It’s dangerously hot. We hope players have prepared and become acclimated — or a pre-existing condition doesn’t emerge that could trigger something tragic.

Coaches and players are becoming more and more educated about the safe way to prepare to practice and play in summer heat.

We hope the education takes hold.

There was a slightly different situation Monday at Conway Country Club, which is hosting its annual designated junior event.

Golfers must carry their clubs and walk the course, most under careful eyes of friends and parents, who are well-supplied with liquid.

"There has been a breeze out here all day and that has helped a lot; we haven’t seen or heard of any players having any difficulties with the heat," said Pete Glass, general manager and pro at the CCC course.

One difference is the CCC event is one of the last stops on a state junior circuit. Almost all of these players have been playing in high heat all summer. You can tell that by the rich tans and the chatter.

It has also helped that as temperatures have risen to record levels, the humidity has lowered. And youngsters are probably more resilient than most to the heat.

This reporter observed several groups coming in after their rounds, No one was dancing. They all were sweating. But no one seemed overly stressed with the effects of the heat. I’m not sure that the temperatures were harder on the spectators than the participants.

As we approach another day in this Arkansas oven, folks seemed to be grimacing and dealing with it.

Let’s hope it remains that way.

(Sports columnist David MCCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net)