Loss Of Players Changes Game For Girls Golf Team

After the Roadrunner Fall Invitational from Oct. 23-24, the golf team’s fall season ended after four tournaments. At the tournament, the team placed third overall with their best 36-hole score of the season, 665.

This season, multiple graduating seniors and the departure of two recruits left the team with only four golfers compared to last year’s team of 10.

After playing the first part of their season, senior Catherine Salem said she was proud of how the team worked together to achieve their scores. Although she said the first tournament was rough, she noticed the amount of effort the girls were putting into improving their game.

For the traveling golf team, the minimum number of players required must be four. However, Salem said that typically five golfers would attend to create a buffer in case one of the girls didn’t play as well so they could remove her score from the count. This added extra pressure to the team because every score had to count this year, no matter how the girls played. 

“This year, there is a different kind of stress that is put on you. Last year, you were just fighting for a spot to go, where here, you were going no matter what. It’s a different mindset, and you have to be okay with that,” Salem said.

While Salem said playing this season was more stressful than last year, the team’s low numbers allowed new golfers the chance to play in tournaments. Sophomore Ana González said she felt she improved a lot since she played more this semester compared to last year. 

This season, she set her personal best in her collegiate career at the Roadrunner Fall Invitational. 

Over time, González said she could more adequately assess her game better now that she was playing more actively in tournaments. Through both practices and rounds, she determined she would work on her mental game during the spring season. 

“The hardest part about golf is that it’s a mental sport. As a golfer, you have to allow bad shots to not affect you. Last tournament, there were a lot of shots between my day one score and my day two score, which doesn’t normally happen to a golfer. That told me that I had to work on my mental game a lot more,” González said.

This year, the team also added three new freshmen to the roster. However, throughout the season two of those recruits dropped out, leaving freshman Madalyn Breckenridge as the only new golfer.

Although Salem said many new challenges came with collegiate golf, she saw that Madalyn was putting in the effort necessary to succeed for both herself and the team.

“Madalyn did a very good job of adapting quickly. With qualifying and losing two freshmen, all eyes were on her. After getting over that hump and eventually going into tournaments, she has exceeded our expectations. She is shooting pretty good scores for being a freshman,” Salem said.

During the offseason, the team will continue to work on improving their abilities through weekly practices and workouts. On top of that, Salem said the team will also be participating in study sessions, eating team dinners and having watch parties of trashy TV shows to maintain their team chemistry. 

Along with team bonding, Salem hopes to improve the overall connections between team members, play solid games in the upcoming spring season and ultimately beat their competitors.