2011 Season Preview
Women’s Golf eyes a MWC top-three in 2011
RIPON, Wis. - The 2010 Red Hawks women’s golf season was a decidedly mixed bag. Literal and figurative illnesses made for some disappointing early-season performances, although the MWC Conference Championship saw two all-conference finishes from Amber Steichen (Pulaski, Wis.) andJessie Lillis (Coldwater, Mich.) - the first time in many years that the Red Hawks have had two players finish in the top 10.
“The girls worked hard, but the same mistakes keep getting made and it’s frustrating,” said Head Coach Cody Pinkston. “Either I continually overestimate our potential, or they don’t want - or maybe don’t believe - they can win. In any event, it’s rare to see them walk off the 18th hole proud of their performance, and that’s tough to see time and time again.”
The loss of senior Amanda Holdshoe (Delavan, Wis.), who graduated in the spring, will almost certainly be felt this season.
“Amanda was a very hard worker and a great teammate, and we’ll miss her,” Pinkston said. “She’s a real competitor.”
New hope will descend on campus in the form of first-years Abby Fish (Oconto Falls, Wis.) and Emily Mueller (Bonduel, Wis.).
Senior Amanda Peterson (Menasha, Wis.), junior Jenny Donohue (Portage, Wis.) and sophomoreKristin Chramowicz (Elgin, Ill.) will round out the roster. Jessie Lillis is questionable due to other commitments.
To improve enough to finish in the top three at the MWC Championship in October, Pinkston says the team will need to improve in some key areas.
“Putting is still a problem, mainly because approaches are finishing too far from the hole if they’re on the green at all. It’s easy to say you had 36 putts and feel good about that, but if you only hit three greens in regulation then it means you are almost never saving par, also known as scrambling percentage. That’s a big problem area.
“Wedge play is tied pretty closely to irons in general, so that’s still a major issue as well. We’re good at keeping the ball in play but bad at getting it in the hole, so we’re going to work on scoring skills a lot. There’s a theory that you play to your comfort zone even if you’re not happy there, and I believe that’s true. So there’s a mental and course-management component we’ll look at as well.”
The Red Hawks’ best team score last season was a 367 at the final day of the conference meet, with a season average of 384. But with the best teams routinely in the 350’s, Pinkston says every player has a responsibility to shave 4-6 strokes off her score.
“Of course I’m disappointed when someone has a blow-up round, but they need to hold each other accountable too. If player A makes good decisions and executes on the course and shoots well below her average, but player B didn’t get enough sleep or makes dumb mistakes to have a blow-up round, then she needs to understand she let the team down, and resolve not to let that happen again. There’s a fantastic team dynamic, so we need to use that as the asset it is so we can accomplish our goals.”