Steamboat girls golf closes ‘most successful season’ in its history

From left, Steamboat Springs girls golf junior Catherine Larock, sophomore Kaitlyn Grommeck, freshman Katharina Cosby and head coach Andrew Donner prepare for a round at Thorncreek Golf Club, the venue for the high school girls golf state tournament on Tuesday, May 30, and Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
Andrew Donner/Courtesy Photo

Steamboat Springs girls golf has never faced such a challenging spring season, but has never seen as much success in its history. 

With odds stacked against them all season, the Sailors impressively finished eighth as a team at the Colorado High School Activities Association Girls Golf State Tournament at Thorncreek Golf Club on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“This is as hard as it can be on a golf team,” head coach Andrew Donner said. “We are hitting balls in the wrestling room, now let’s go play regionals and states. They did a fantastic job and deserve an immense amount of credit for what they accomplished this year.”

Donner thought Thorncreek was a good venue for the state competition and said it was pretty fair all week for the different skill levels that you see at state. 

“The greens were very fast and pretty undulated,” Donner said. “That definitely caused us a couple issues for sure. We were not accustomed to that and did not get a chance to play with us being a spring sport and getting on those types of greens.”

Steamboat was able to make the trip to Denver for a practice round at Thorncreek on Monday. 

The key to a good practice round is testing the greens and seeing how the ball bounces. The other primary focuses are checking the grass heights in the rough and finding sightlines off the tee. 

The Sailors, more than anything, spent a lot of time working around the greens. 

Steamboat Springs girls golf sophomore Kaitlyn Grommeck tees off at Thorncreek Golf Club during the state competition on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
Andrew Donner/Courtesy Photo

Donner also took some time to discuss maintaining focus with the girls. They are a young group and do not have a lot of state tournament experience. 

“When you get out there and things are not going your way early, you start to look at the tournament in total as going south and not just getting off to a slow start,” Donner said. ” A lot of younger players can start slow and get in their head subconsciously.”

Throughout the two-round tournament, there were plenty of ups and downs for the Sailors. It was freshman Katharina Cosby who led the group by shooting a combined 167 and finishing 19th overall. 

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

Sophomore Kaitlyn Grommeck, who dominated the entire regular season, was not far behind Cosby with a 169 and a 22nd-place finish. 

Junior Catherine Larock placed 57th in her first state appearance off of 186 strokes in her two rounds of play. 

Donner believes if the girls had a little more time to practice on the course this spring, as opposed to wrestling mats, they would have had an even stronger showing. 

After the tournament, he told them they should be proud of how they played. The best is yet to come for this young group of girls. 

“This was the most successful season in Steamboat Springs girls golf history,” Donner said. “They are very young, everybody is coming back and will continue to get better. The program is in a really good spot. I think these girls are setting a foundation that hopefully will last a really long time.”

Team Top-10 — 1. Erie, 441. 2. Durango, 490. 3. Discovery Canyon, 491. 4. Mullen, 501. 5. Holy Family, 509. 5. Cheyenne Mountain, 509. 7. Windsor, 517. 8. Steamboat Springs, 522. 9. Golden, 534. 10. Riverdale Ridge, 540.

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