April 17, 2024

GIRLS GOLF: 'Having fun' a goal for potential-filled Wolverines team

The Nodaway Valley girls golf team is coming off a sectional championship and a regional appearance last year.

The core group returns and there is potential for another good spring golf season. Coach Julie Hartman enters her third year at the helm of the program and said that like in past springs, the weather causes some frustrating moments.

“The weather was really nice on the first day and we were able to go out and golf. We took the team outside instead of going over things in a classroom. I know that is boring, we walked the course and had a hands on start and that was very helpful. It was a lot more beneficial,” said Hartman.

“Sometimes in spring seasons though, it is like we are in ‘hurry up and wait’ mode to get our on the course consistently. When the weather is windy and rainy, it is not good for golf practice,” she said.

The Wolverines won the sectional meet with a team score of 433, five strokes better than runner-up Mount Ayr who had a team score of 438. From that team, Ashlyn Gutierrez and Mallory Russell collected top-10 finishes with a sixth place and ninth place finish at that meet, respectively. Bella Hogan also returns and placed in the top 20 at sectionals.

Gone from last year are Lindsey Davis and Izzy Eisbach. Both placed as top-10 finishers at the sectional meet a year ago.

Looking at a breakdown of classes on the team this year, there are two seniors, a junior and a pair of sophomores. Seniors Gutierrez and Hogan and junior Delaney Blomme are the upperclassmen. Gutierrez is going to play golf next year at Waldorf University in Forest City and had a 9-hole average of 52.0 last year. Hogan had a 9-hole average of 60.25 and Blomme had a 9-hole average of 67.0. Sophomores Russell and Brailyann Coffman had 9-hole averages of 56.0 and 69.50 last year.

Also out is sophomore Caroline Britten. Britten, who was hurt in volleyball season and missed basketball and ran track last year, is out for golf this spring.

“We have really good potential. We got as far as we did in the postseason last year,” Hartman said. “The short game is where it is at. You can hit the ball as far as you want, but if you can’t chip and putt, you are not going to score well.”

Hartman said that chipping is a huge part of practice. Hartman reported that the team’s putting is going along, but right now, there are slow greens r.

“Our main goal is to have fun. If you are having fun, you play well,” she said.