The De Soto High School girls’ golf team is picking up right where they left off last fall and getting back into the swing of the season.
The team has been preparing by practicing at different golf courses each day.
According to returning member junior Ingrid McGinnis, practicing at various courses allows the team to be “better prepared for whatever comes at us during a tournament.”
Smiley’s, Shawnee Golf and Country Club, Burning Tree and Twin Oaks are some of the places where the team practices. While each course provides the team with different opportunities to improve, each member has their favorite.
“My favorite course is definitely Smiley’s. I like going to the driving range and practicing with different irons I usually don’t get to use,” McGinnis said.
During practices, the team uses various methods to work on their game.
These methods include, but are not limited to, “short game challenges, driving range practice, individual scoring, and team scrambles,” according to head coach Kristy Wilkens.
The team has enjoyed using different practice methods and have bonded throughout these practices.
“Practice is always fun, and we all get along well together. Golf might be an individual sport, but we have grown into a family through it,” said returning member senior Maddie Beal.
Last year, the team gained many new players and rebuilt the golf program. This year, with nine returners and four new members, the golf team is excited to continue to grow and improve.
“I see so much improvement in the girls that came out last year, and we have some younger players that have a lot of potential,” Wilkens said. “It’s fun to see the growth in all the girls.”
With varsity’s first tournament being on Sept 4 at Prairie Highlands Golf Course, there are many emotions going through the members’ minds.
“I’m nervous for sure [for the first tournament], but still excited. Meets are way different than practice and the competitors are pretty intense,” Beal said.
Even though there are nerves going into the first tournament, the team still has high goals for this season.
Coach Wilkens’ goals for the season are for “the girls [to be] committed to the team, for them to see the results of that commitment and feel good about their game.”
The team even has their eyes on the State tournament.
“I feel like our team has grown and I have grown as a player. I think this year we might be able to qualify for state,” Beal said.