Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
This fall, the men’s and women’s golf teams set out to compete and take on a leading role throughout the conference as the season progresses.
Both teams competed in the Southern Athletic Association Preview Tournament last weekend in Dickson, Tenn., and were able to see how to work towards the team goal of improving day by day. The women’s team opened their season ranked tenth in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Preseason Top 25, and the men’s side recently tied for second at the SAA preview tournament.
Head Golf Coach Brian Farrer sees the potential for success in both teams.
“On the women’s side, there will be a balance,” Farrer said. “Depth-wise, the freshmen have come in and started working to get in the lineup early. I see them being able to improve and help the program throughout the season.”
Farrer is also optimistic about the new members of the men’s team.
“On the men’s side, we brought in eight guys with seven of the twelve being freshmen and one being a transfer, so we’re continuing to lay a foundation to build this group up as future leaders of the program,” Farrer said.
Junior Jorie Hodapp, last year’s SAA Player of the Year with a first-place win at the SAA championships, said that the team dynamic has an effect on each player’s individual performance on the golf course.
“Our team has only grown closer and stronger in the past year,” Hodapp said. “Our seniors are doing a great job bringing everyone together and we’re all friends-and some roommates- outside of golf, which makes competing on the golf course so much easier.”
The golf team’s schedule can fluctuate at times because they lack a facility on campus and have to work around other schedules, according to Farrer. He emphasized taking things day-by-day and said the goal for the team is to ask themselves, ‘are we better than we were before.’
Hodapp has to find a way to balance academics and athletics and shares that her schedule can be demanding with practices and tournaments coming into play.
“Our schedule in general is very demanding, from qualifying to actual tournaments,” Hodapp said. “Our fall travel schedule, including flying to Houston for the National Preview, will prepare us well for our even more demanding spring schedule. We’ll keep up with workouts and effective practice sessions to make the most of the time we do have, and always take rest days to make sure our bodies and minds are in the best condition to play our best golf.”
Farrer discussed the team mentality and the players’ focus on making each other better than they were the day before. The team members always have each other’s backs. Their motto, ‘I’m in it for you’, emphasizes their team-focused attitude.
Farrer believes that the team should be able to achieve any goal they set for themselves, whether athletic or individual.
“As an athletic department, we look at where we are and where do we want to be,” Farrer said. “Goals are great, but it all starts with character. You bring the right character and that group of character and working hard will make the goals for you.”
The women’s team travels to Montgomery, Ala., to compete in the MCC Intercollegiate this weekend, and the men’s golf team will compete in the Rhodes Invitational on Sunday September 23rd.