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Girls’ golf combats weather

Players utilize indoor facilities

Girls%27+golf+captain+senior+Carly+Livingston+practices+her+swing+indoors+at+the+Life+Time+Fitness+in+Park.+The+teams+has+been+practicing+indoors+due+to+the+cold+weather.+%0A
Girls' golf captain senior Carly Livingston practices her swing indoors at the Life Time Fitness in Park. The teams has been practicing indoors due to the cold weather.

Girls' golf captain senior Carly Livingston practices her swing indoors at the Life Time Fitness in Park. The teams has been practicing indoors due to the cold weather.

Hanna Schechter

Hanna Schechter

Girls' golf captain senior Carly Livingston practices her swing indoors at the Life Time Fitness in Park. The teams has been practicing indoors due to the cold weather.

Nicole Sanford and Ruby Stillman

Beginning her second year on the girls’ golf team, junior Erica Dudley said the cold spring weather could make for a more stagnant season than in years past.

“We just don’t get to play that much this season,” Dudley said. “I’m upset that we don’t get to play outside. I don’t love playing in the dome, so if our season is completely in the dome, then that’s going to suck, but if we don’t have practice, that sucks too.”

According to head coach Zach Strouts, the first couple weeks of practice have been successful, but additional progress depends on future forecasts.

“The first couple weeks of practice have gone well,” Strouts said. “I’m seeing girls that have never played golf before, I’m seeing girls that are really good at golf that just are working on their swings, working on their grip, their swing path all that type of stuff, so I think we’re headed in the right direction. We just need the weather to cooperate.”

According to Dudley, techniques practiced during the week differ depending on the skill level of the player.

“People that have done it before are just hitting, and then new people are kind of learning how and grips and stuff like that,” Dudley said.

Strouts said regardless of the potentially cold season, he still plans for players to gain experience practicing at various outdoor locations when available.

“For practices, we’re going to try to get on the course more often,” Strouts said. “We’re going to try to play nine holes for practice, we’ll go to the driving range at Brookview, we’ll use the par three at Theodore Wirth, the par three at Brookview. We’re going to be all over the map this year. We’re going to try our best to kind of get different golf settings right now.”

As a result of recently canceled matches due to weather, Dudley said she predicts the team’s practice schedule will become increasingly inconsistent.

“When the snow melts, it’s going to be super busy because we’ve already been canceling practices for the last week,” Dudley said. “We’re going to have a match like every day, and that’s going to be terrible because when there’s matches, the rest of the team that doesn’t play doesn’t have practice because there’s not a coach, and only six people play.”

Strouts said weather concerns are impacting other spring sports as well.

“Just having girls come with open minds and good attitudes is going to be the hardest part right now, and it’s not just girls, it’s the guys’ golf team, it’s the lacrosse team, it’s baseball,” Strouts said. “We all just kind of have to understand that we live in Minnesota, there’s nothing we can do about the weather.”

Strouts said he admires players who show up to practice with optimistic attitudes.

“With the smiles that I see everyday that’s (one) the most important, and then (two) obviously just showing up and giving it your best is kind of all I expect,” Strouts said. “And for these younger girls or the girls that are just coming out that have never played before — it’s a lifelong sport, so I’m just hoping that I can teach one or two things every day where they can take them home and practice them and use them for later on in life.”

The team’s next match is 2 p.m. April 18 at Dwan Golf Course. Visit gopark.org for updates.

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