Golfers ready to tee off

by Ben Frotscher

Storm golfers are ready for warm weather in hopes of another successful season this spring.

The weather has been very unfavorable for the golf season thus far. Until this past weekend, golfing conditions had not been very favorable in Iowa. This doesn’t seem to worry the Simpson women’s golf team.

“Weather doesn’t play a factor yet,” said junior Karen Smith. “The season is just beginning.”

The women’s golf team hasn’t been outside practicing, but they have been hitting golf balls inside the Longview Golf Dome in Des Moines. “We try to go to Des Moines once a week during the winter to hit balls,” said Smith.

The team traveled to Branson, Mo. for the week of spring break to sharpen its game before the start of the season. The women played five rounds in Branson. With the unpredictable Iowa weather, the team needed a place to perfect its swing.

The spring outlook for the Storm looks promising again this season. “We want to finish first at nationals and first at all of our other meets,” said junior Senta Willenborg.

The Storm finished its fall season by going 63-3 and placing first in the IIAC. This was the eighth time this has happened in the recent eleven years.

Some of the top women out for the spring golf season include IIAC most valuable player from the fall, Janelle Claiborne. This was the second year that she received all-conference honors. Senta Willenborg also received all-conference honors in the fall and also was an individual champion at the IIAC meet.

Juniors Amanda DeRiemacker and Karen Smith and freshman Steph Schenfeld also received all-conference honors in the fall.

The Simpson men’s golf team is also ready to tee it up.

The Storm has 11 members out for the golf team, with senior Josh Luehmann, junior Matt Zeller and sophomore Mike Martin leading the way.

“Our goal for the season is to get third in the conference, with two or three all-conference selections and hopefully send one to nationals,” said Head Coach Larry Shoop.

“We want to play to our potential,” said sophomore Andy English.

The Simpson men’s golf team has been practicing indoors since the middle of February. Shoop said the main reason for working inside was to improve swing mechanics and to be prepared for the fast approaching season.

The spring season for the men is more important because there are more meets, including the conference championship. Yet, weather plays an enormous factor during spring play.

“The weather has made practicing outdoors non-existent,” said Zeller.

The first meet for the Storm is a mere two weeks away, but all the area colleges are in the same boat as Simpson.

The Storm men also went on a spring break trip to Joplin, Mo. The team got in about 10 rounds of nine holes down south.

The first meet for the Storm men is on March 28-29 at the Central Invitational in Pella, while the first meet for the No. 7 nationally rated Simpson women’s team is on April 4-5 in Kirksville, Mo. at the Truman State Invitational.