Golf team makes strong start toward state berth

The women’s varsity golf team has had a winning start to the first half of the 2015 season. Having beaten Waverly and won the Metro meet against Waterloo East, Waterloo West and Waterloo Columbus Catholic, the girls have created an impressive record of 4-0 and are optimistic about their chances of heading to State.

Eight girls — including freshman Clare Rolinger; sophomores Hailey Bermel, Hannah Bermel, Taylor Sernett, Kenzie Roberts and Miranda Rokes; juniors Alex Miller and Megan Bradford — rotate as varsity members. Only six are allowed to play per meet, so each girl must qualify to play for the week. Meets consist of a range of anywhere from two to 10 teams. At a typical meet, each school’s lowest scoring member is deemed No. 1, then paired with opposing schools’ No. 1 players. All the No. 1 players then usually play a nine-hole course together. Similarly, all the No. 2’s, No. 3’s and so on are paired together, and thus play together. Of course, after everyone has played, the lowest total team score wins.

Sophomore varsity member Miranda Rokes, who has been playing all of her life, said that golf is “definitely a mental thing. If you say you’re going to shoot really bad, then you’re going to shoot really bad. You definitely have to practice a lot. It’s not something you can just pick up and naturally be good at. It takes serious time.”

The golf team puts in this serious time, holding daily practices at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course. A typical practice starts with putting practice at the putting green or practicing at the chipping range before playing the course.

Keeping up the hard work, the girls may make it all the way to State and could earn the state champ title. Cedar Falls won it last in 2011. To qualify, the team must be one of the top teams at an upcoming regional meet.

At State, their biggest competitors will be Linn-Mar and Ankeny, teams they normally don’t play against. “Coach Youngkent says we can be state winners this year, so that’s our goal,” Rokes said. “And if not this year, definitely next year. Most of the team members are sophomores, [and because] most of us have been playing golf together for eight years, we know each other’s weaknesses and strengths.”

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