Thomas Jefferson

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Driving to Success

Posted 03/21/2016 by Jalyssa Vigil

Morgan VandeRiet lines up for putting practice. photo by Selini Sonmez

The girls’ golf team is ready for a strong season.

In hopes of passing on his enthusiasm and knowledge for the game, AP World History and U.S. History teacher Mark Smith returns for his 12th year of coaching the girls’ golf team.

Last season, the team consisted of 11 players; this year the team has grown to 13 girls, which means more players representing TJ in the tournaments. Last season at the JV Cup TJ graduate Angelica Hawley received first place and the varsity girls took home third place in the City Cup. It was a successful season overall and Smith hopes to “continually work on improving everyone’s putting game” to have an even more successful season.

The team’s practices throughout the season consist of four days a week for several hours at Kennedy Golf Course. Along with practice during the week, there is a tournament once a week against multiple schools. The varsity team plays the regulation course which is the full course made up of 18 holes. The JV team plays half of the course, which is nine holes.

Smith is continually trying to find ways to improve the team’s game. “The most important part of the game is the short game, so most of my efforts will be towards chipping and putting,” he stated. This will hopefully allow the girls to revamp their strategies while playing the course.

Senior Emma Neuhart isn’t having problems being one of the new members of the team. “It’s my first time being on the TJ girls’ golf team and I feel great about our season so far; we have great girls, managers, and coaches,” she explained. Another addition to the team this year is freshman Reagan Tucker. “I feel really great about the season so far, but there is room for improvement,” she described. After having played a few tournaments the team is ready to take on whatever challenge and competition they may face next.

The season started off on a great note as all girls attended the DPS Invitational on March 3, 2016 at Kennedy Golf Course. Junior Bethany Hawley showed tremendous skill when shooting a hole in one on the ninth hole. The team has since played in multiple tournaments around the city to gain experience playing more courses than just Kennedy. The season has just begun, but the Lady Spartans are enjoying their time during the season so far. With Smith’s drive and determination to improve the team’s skills, the girls are sure to have a fun and successful season.