Steamboat girls golf continues to learn the sport
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School girls golf team chips balls on a football field off small, padded greens.
It helps the girls get outside in the elements to practice their swings, rather than using the golf studio.
For the most part, the Steamboat girls golf team has played in scramble tournaments this season to get a feel for the game. Scramble tournaments are when teams of two or more players knock the first drive then choose the ball with the best placement to take the next stroke. Each player moves their ball to that spot and repeats the process until the ball reaches the hole. The score is taken from the least number of strokes on each hole.
It’s a style of golf that is fun and enjoyable for a team that is relatively young and doesn’t have the opportunity to play golf every day. The Steamboat team has nine girls, some of whom have never played competitive golf before.
“I played soccer last year, and I just decided I wanted to try the golf team,” sophomore Sophia Gowdy said. “I had been playing during the summer, enjoyed it and tried it out.”
Gowdy was granted the chance to play as an individual for the first time in the golf tournament at Black Canyon Golf Course on Tuesday, April 2, in Montrose. She shot a 114.
“In order to qualify for regionals, you have to play as an individual, but some of my No. 4 and No. 5 players haven’t played,” head coach Shannon Hanley said. “To make it a little more fun, they’ve allowed those players to play scramble. We let our No. 1 step up in the individual tournament, and other four players on our team scramble.”
Steamboat’s scramble team of Gowdy, sophomore Riley Moore, freshman Gracie Johnston, senior Taylor Moore and freshman Grace Henninger placed second at Chipeta Golf Course on March 26 in Grand Junction. That has remained the top result for the Sailors this year.
But, results aren’t what it’s about for the Sailors, since being a mountain team makes it hard to even practice. The Sailors take advantage of the time they have on the greens, even though the winter months make courses even more challenging. But, they’ll still learn from the experience walking the course and talking about its obstacles.
March 11: at Palisade
March 26: at Central
April 2 and 3: at Montrose
April 16: at Rifle
April 17: at Aspen
April 29: at Moffat County
May 6 to 7: regionals in Gunnison
“We’ve struggled a lot with putting and chipping,” Hanley said. “Even in warmer climates, the courses are not tailored like they are in the summer. Makes it harder to control distance on putting greens.”
On Tuesday in Rifle, senior Taylor Moore will have the chance to step up and play an individual tournament. As a senior, Moore aspires to make regionals if they don’t conflict with her testing schedule. She’s eager to see what her score will be.
“My long distance has gotten a lot better. It’s more controlled now. I can aim better,” Moore said. “I’m always aiming for below 100, but it depends on the day.”
Steamboat golf travels to Rifle on Tuesday, April 16, and Aspen on Wednesday, April 17.
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