The greens at Pine Valley presented a different test than what the Creston/Orient-Macksburg girls are used to seeing at Crestmoor Golf Club.
Coach Jon Thomson likes when his girls have the opportunity to play there, such as during Thursday’s round against Southwest Valley.
The setup of the greens tests the Panthers in different ways, and prepares them for the postseason.
“That’s why I love playing out here,” Thomson said. “These greens are phenomenal. I love putting on these greens.”
Handling the speed of greens requires precision, and an ability to adapt.
“The girls need to see it. They’ve got to adjust to it,” Thomson said. “A couple of them didn’t adjust to it very well today. They were hitting putts a long way. They’ve got to recognize it a lot sooner than they did and make those putts. That’s one of the reasons we come out here and play. It’s awesome.”
The greens, combined with a stiff north breeze, tested the girls.
“It was pretty rough, especially with the wind and playing on different greens,” said Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s Ashton Carter. “These greens are a little faster. It makes it a little more challenging.”
The greens took some adjusting to get used too.
“Here, they are a little faster than Crestmoor,” said Sophia Groumoutis. “It was a little more hard for me to putt on.”
That’s what Thomson wanted his girls to experience.
“Especially early in the season, those are the types of greens we’re going to see in the postseason,” Thomson said. “When things get a little drier, you’re going to see these faster greens. I know these greens will get faster as the season goes.”
Still, the greens were receptive to a good shot, Thomson said.
“They’re still approachable,” Thomson said. “They can hold them. You just have to be careful about the putts.”
At various points, the girls struggles on the greens.
“There were some four putts and we can’t have those,” Thomson said.
The wind created challenges for club selection.
“You would have to club up or club down, figure out what you have to do to hit a good shot,” Carter said.
Groumoutis was the medalist with a 40. Carter was the runner-up with a 44. Hayley Osmun posted a 45 and Sadie Green added a 55.
Kiara Roberts had a 49 to lead the three Southwest Valley girls. Abbie Wetzel had a 54 and Maddie Ballard added a 67.
UP NEXT — Creston/Orient-Macksburg is at Clarke for a triangular with Interstate 35 at the Osceola Golf and Country Club. The boys match will be a dual between the Indians and Roadrunners as the Panthers are taking their JV squad.
No boys scores from the Panthers and Timberwolves’ match in Corning was immediately available.