Golf teams experience golf in the heat, sun of Florida

by Brandon OrtaleStaff Writer

The men and women’s golf teams were in Orlando, Fla. over spring break, playing at the Nick Faldo Institute March 10-17 in preparation for the spring season.

The women won their conference tournament, which was played in the fall, to gain an automatic entrance to Nationals and the men are looking to win their conference championship this spring to enter Nationals as well.

Larry Shoop, head coach of men’s golf said while the team is in Florida, they will have two sessions of golf and play in between those sessions per day.

“We [the team] want to work on skill, technique, rhythm, and our golf swings,” Shoop said.

Senior Eric Adams sees the spring trip as a nice way to start the spring campaign with the season starting right after spring break, March 23.

“It’s a jump start to the season,” Adams said. “It’s nice to have a week of golf without contending with the snow.”

While the women were in Florida, they went to the National Tournament course Tuesday, March 13.

According to Bob Darrah, head coach of women’s golf, the women will had a practice round to familiarize themselves with the course and take notes on the course.

“When we go to Nationals, there are two practice rounds and we can compare our notes from spring break to it again,” Darrah said.

Senior Jessica Harvey said none of the women have seen the course. She said even walking the course can help visualization, but they get to play on it.

“We will take notes and continue to keep images of it and imagine different scenarios,” Harvey said.

Both teams feel they need to keep improving on their short games.

“The short game can always be worked on from chipping to putting,” Darrah said. “Most golfers would tell you they work on it 85% of the time.”

According to Shoop, the team needs more consistency and work on the mental game. He wants each individual to average a 75 in scoring.

“We have a nice blend of experience and talent,” Shoop said. “We have two seniors and three juniors and a really good crop of freshmen, which makes a nice blend to put forth a good spring.”

Darrah’s personal goal is to be in the top four at Nationals.

Harvey, senior Jenny Goodall, junior Noel Triebel, and freshmen Katie Vaux and Megan Smith will be participating at Nationals. He believes the women can do it from their lowest scores.

“They have the potential to be scary,” Darrah said. “I just have to get the girls to believe it.”

According to Adams, the men’s main goal is to win the conference championship, which Simpson hasn’t won since 1971.

“We have a really good shot with the experience we can hand down to the talented freshmen,” Adams said.

Golf isn’t just about strategy and practicing swings, but is a mental game as well. According to Shoop, the mental game is an important aspect to defeating the opponent.

“The mental game is about working through tough golf shots and keeping composure and not getting into trouble,” Shoop said.

Harvey knows even though the team has made Nationals, they still need to go out and do their best and show why they still are the team that deserves to go.

“We need to work on our mental endurance,” Harvey said. “We just have to stay focused and if we have a bad hole, just move on.”

In preparation of the spring season, the men and women have done some weightlifting to help their endurance and have been hitting into the net in Cowles. The women go to Longview Golf Center, an indoor golf facility, once a week.

“Hitting balls into the range is a lot like target practice for me,” Harvey said. “I want to know where the ball is going.”

Besides hitting into a net and lifting, Darrah likes the women to work on their putting.

Harvey said that, in order to go from an average golfer to a good or great golfer, the mindset is key.

“One needs the want and desire to do it and put it into practice,” Harvey said. “First is the want and knowing you can do it and then putting the hours in to do it.”