A young core speaks to promising future for Steamboat girls golf

Steamboat Springs girls golf head coach Andrew Donner, center, is excited for his young prospects this season, making up 13 of 16 girls on the roster. From left, Catherine Larock, Kaitlyn Grommeck, Katharina Cosby and Maddy Moline helped the team place third at the 4A regional tournament last season. All four will return for this year.
Andrew Donner/Courtesy Photo

With 16 on the roster, Steamboat Springs girls golf coach Andrew Donner has the most athletes in the program of his coaching career. 

Despite the high numbers, just three are upperclassmen, with the remaining 13 making up a young but exciting group of freshman and sophomore golfers. 

One of those young golfers is sophomore Maddy Moline, who has worked tirelessly in the offseason to improve her game. She is focused on breaking 90 this year, and is itching to get back out on the course. 

“I’m excited to see what I can bring, see what the difference is and how my mindset on the course is compared to the (M3 Golf Lab),” Moline said. “I’m excited to go out, have fun and play on grass.”

The biggest challenges the team faces to start the season are the lack of course time and the busy schedules of the athletes. Competing in the first tournament of the season on Monday in Grand Junction, the Sailors have just three golfers able to attend as several girls will be playing hockey, soccer or ski racing. 

“We’re going to be juggling for a few weeks, but the main thing is in high school golf this is just the way it functions,” Donner said. “It’s all about regionals and states. We are trying to win the league, but a lot of these tournaments, when you’re not able to get on the grass very often, we just have to get our feet back on the grass again and get into golf situations and pressure situations built up to get ready for regionals.” 

Junior Kaitlyn Grommeck won every regular season tournament last season and placed fourth in regionals to finish 22nd in the state. She hopes to build off of last year’s success and find herself with a top-10 at state this season. 

“I’m dialing chipping and putting,” Grommeck said. “The swing is important, but chipping and putting will always save you.” 

Grommeck will miss the majority of April tournaments due to a concussion, but has been able to spend time focusing on her short game during her recovery. 

Steamboat’s Katharina Cosby tees off during the girls golf state tournament on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at Thorncreek Golf Club.
Andrew Donner/Courtesy Photo

Katharina Cosby, sophomore, will also miss some of the early-season tournaments for high-level ski races she has coming up. Cosby joined Grommeck at the state tournament last year and placed 19th. 

This season, she is working on her weight transition and calming down her lower body. She hopes to consistently shoot under 80, and with one successful season under her belt, is excited for the year ahead. 

“I think you can bring more confidence, but you also have to remember that you haven’t been swinging for a while so you can’t have too many expectations,” Cosby said. 

The team’s lone senior, Catherine Larock, was the third and final member of the Sailors’ state tournament team a year ago. She has begun to slow down her swing, and looks to shoot in the mid-80s this season. 

On Monday, Larock will focus on getting used to playing on a real golf course again. 

For the majority of each week, the girls practice on mini golf mats in the wrestling room at the high school. Two times per week, they have the opportunity to improve their games at local golf simulators, splitting time between the simulator at Haymaker Golf Course and the M3 Golf Lab. 

“I want to build a good foundation coming in from last year and not really hitting,” Larock said. “It’s about getting on that grass and getting a feel for it. These mats look like grass but they don’t have the same feel. It’s good to be able to hit on the real stuff, make some divots and see where the ball goes.”

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