Girls’ golf team prepares for the 2020 season.
With spring just around the corner, Spartans get ready for spring sports tryouts. Among the various spring sports hosted by TJ, the girls’ golf team expresses extreme excitement for their 2020 season. Unlike other sports at TJ, golf is a no-cut sport, meaning anyone can join without trying out for the team. This allows girls with no previous golf experience and girls who frequently play golf to interact and create a supportive environment to help foster growth within the sport. Unlike many teams at TJ, the girls’ golf team does not have different levels, meaning instead of having separate varsity or JV teams, all of the players play on the same team. “Golf has helped develop my relationship with my teammates by somehow turning an individual sport into a team sport,” explained Mary Jarecke, who has been a part of the team for the last four years. This also creates a close bond between teammates. “Golf is one of my favorite parts of TJ. It has allowed me to meet a lot of new people and has helped me find some of my best friends,” explained senior captain Louie Aldridge. This friendly dynamic between players ensures the bond of the team while also providing a space for students to take a break from the stress of school.
The team is coached by Mark Smith, who previously taught U.S History at TJ. After retiring from teaching, he maintained his role as the girls’ golf coach. “We all want Smith to be proud of us. We work on our technique, but he also wants us to have fun and enjoy golf,” mentioned Aldridge. During practices, the team can be found perfecting their putting techniques on the green at Kennedy Golf Course before moving to the Par 3 course to work on their golf game, or practice hitting on the range. “The team likes to use [practice] as a time to talk about our day, make jokes, and improve our golf game while having fun” described Jarecke. Practices are after school Monday-Thursday and start at 3:00 p.m.. The team also participates in weekly tournaments where they compete against other DPS schools. “I love tournaments because you’re able to play golf with a bunch of girls from different schools and you get to make a lot of friends,” explained senior and captain Reyna Baldwin. Although there is no varsity girls’ golf team, varsity players compete at a higher level than other players on the team. Golfers can still letter at the end of the season and higher level players compete on an 18 hole course, while beginning golfers play on a par 3 course.
While the team is excited to welcome new members, returning players are also extremely excited for the upcoming season. The returning seniors are feeling bittersweet about their final golf season at TJ. “I am truly sad about this being my last season because girls’ golf is really just one big friend group and I’m really going to miss that sense of friendship and community,” mentioned Baldwin. With only a few more weeks until the start of the golf season, the players are ready to start golfing again. Although the players enjoy the sport, the team’s spirit is what makes golf so fun. “I think I will miss the team’s spirit and Smith the most. Golf is a lot of fun, especially when you get to play with your friends,” commented Aldridge.
No matter a player’s skill level, the girls’ golf team will welcome them with open arms. “People should join golf because most other sports are super competitive, but girls’ golf is just about having fun and that’s what I think sports should be about. You should be having fun while playing the sport you love and that’s what we do everyday at practice and at tournaments,” described Baldwin. The team is ready for another great season and hopes to continue growing as a team this year.