Golf teams look to regain focus for spring

Golf teams look to regain focus for spring

by Kelli Herzberg

As both women’s and men’s golf teams head into the spring season, focus is high on their list of priorities.

After the men’s team finished last year’s spring season fifth in the conference, and the women’s team finished last fall’s season in third, both teams are set out to focus on their game. However, the weather lately has limited the amount of practice time the teams can get.

Men’s Golf Coach Larry Shoop knows that despite weather, the team needs to be out on the course.

“We go, weather-permitting,” Shoop said. “Like [Friday], as marginal as it [was], we’ll be out there. What has hurt us the most is our short game. If you don’t play, that’s the thing that suffers the most.”

Women’s Golf Coach Bob Darrah tries to offer his players as many indoor opportunities to practice as possible to facilitate as much practice time as possible.

“We have a net upstairs [in Cowles] they can hit in,” Darrah said. “I afford them the opportunity to go into the Longview [Golf Dome] at Johnston. It ‘s kind of a drive in there so they maybe go twice a week but they have the opportunity to hit balls. They can putt on the rug in the dormitory if they have any imagination at all…[Practice] is what we are lacking a little bit.”

Despite the recent weather and the previous season, everybody is looking forward to focusing on the spring season.

“We’re stronger, deeper this year than we’ve been since I’ve been here,” Shoop said. “The program is getting better; it’s strengthening. We’re trying to turn that corner and take us to the next level. We’ve got a great group of young men in the program. They all get along well – the chemistry is good.”

With each player working to hone his skills, the men’s team is driving toward the conference championship.

“We’re focusing on individual improvement, developing a greater sense of confidence while we’re competing and letting that carry us to the conference championship,” Shoop said. “I expect us to play really well, if not contend for the conference championship no worse than third. We’ve got the people to do it, we’ve got the experience to do it, it is a matter of going out there and getting it done.”

Darrah is disappointed in the way the women’s team performed last fall, as they fell in the conference rankings. Now, the team is focused on getting better during the spring season.

“We finished third in the conference,” Darrah said. “This is the first time in 15 years we weren’t first or second. It broke our track record. This is the poorest three years we’ve [had] since I’ve been here.”

While the women are now out of the national tournament, they are focusing on improving themselves.

Senior Megan Fick said that while the fall season was hard, they still have goals for the spring season.

“We struggled [during the fall season],” Fick said. “It was hard but with defeat you can only get better. I think our team goals are really just to stay on target, beat Wartburg and just come together to do well this last part of the season.”

Darrah agrees and said that his goals for the spring season are to play the way the team has in the past.

“Try to get back to respectability,” Darrah said. “We were dominating it. We need to get better – get back to reality.”