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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Women’s Golf seeks redemption

The Grinnell’s Women’s Golf Team had a disappointing end to an otherwise good season last year, taking only third at the Midwest Conference Tournament. However, with all of last year’s players returning, they have another chance to win the title.

“We went into the tournament with the best stroke average of any team and just didn’t have it that weekend. With all of our players back and the addition of three solid first-years we will be looking to atone for that performance this year,” Head Coach Dave Arsenault wrote in an e-mail to the S&B.

In preparation for a possible bid to Nationals this year, Coach Arsenault recruited three new players to account for three returners who will travel abroad in the Spring. However, because of the new additions to the team, there are now more golfers than playing spots.

“This has been good and bad. The good is that the returning players knew they would be challenged for positions this year and really worked on their games this summer. I can also tell you that we now have the best and deepest team that we have ever had,” Arsenault wrote.

In preparation for the season, Hailey Speck ’15 and Alex Plemmons ’15 each practiced at home with their swing coaches over the summer.

“We arrived here the same time as everyone else for NSO,” says Speck.

Outside of practice, the team is strong and members frequently spend time together.

“We have a really fun team, we have dinner together and it’s always fun to go to practice and see everyone. It’s a good refresher after a day of classes,” Speck said. “We all get along really well. Obviously, we are competing for spots to go to different tournaments, but from the sounds of it right now, we are all going to get our chance to play.”

Natalie Klee ’13 looks forward to the pressure from having extra players.

“I’m really excited, It’s nice to have a couple of the first years too that are clearly good and will add to our team. So its an exciting year,” Klee said. “We are striving to actually win conference, especially, not make a disappointing third place again. I think we know we can beat Carroll.”

Coach Arsenault keeps the team grounded.

“While we would love to win our first conference championship this year, I wouldn’t really say that’s a goal because I know anything can happen in a single tournament and we really do not yet know what other teams have done on the recruiting front,” Arsenault wrote.

To pick the players who will have scoring spots for this season the team had qualifiers.

“We had a qualifier last weekend which was a little shocking to some of the upperclassman, because we’ve never done that before,” Klee said. “It kind of does forces you away a little bit, but I still think you bond. It also makes you thankful for playing well and actually wanting to get a spot. So it’s good and bad.”

Since qualifiers are over some of the competition among players lifted.

“It lifts a burden off our shoulders in the sense that we all kind of know where we are so now we can really just focus on playing well individually, but also playing well as a team—like as a cohesive unit,” Klee said.

Dedication to the team’s advancement is reflected in at least one player’s personal goals.

“Personally I want to just improve a lot on my own game and try to be as much as a benefit to the team in competition as I am able to do,” Plemmons said.

While players do have their own things to improve upon how the team performs overall is most important.

“I am looking to improve my chipping mostly,” Speck said. “But as long as I feel I am contributing to the best of my ability I feel like that is a good start for my first year.”

The current practices include a drive once a week to a private club because the conditions there will resemble actual playing conditions. However, most practices are in Grinnell at the local country club. The scoring players for the next game include the top four players, Mallory Messin ’13, Stephanie Spahr ’14, Natalie Klee ’13 and Alex Plemmons ’15. Kayleigh Kresse ’15 was chosen to be the 5th scorer although all eight players will compete.

The Pioneers will kick off their season at the Mount Mercy Invitational in Cedar Rapids, IA on Saturday, Sept. 3.

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