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Women's golf seeks to improve
By Ross Weener

For the fourth-straight year the Calvin women's golf team has finished their MIAA season in seventh place. The Knights play on the nicest golf course in the league, in Thornapple Country Club, but they just can not get enough good golfers to come out and play. With the opportunity to play collegiate golf on one of the nicest courses in the area, what is keeping the prospects away from Calvin?

Women's golf head coach Ralph Honderd cites non-committal athletes as part of the problem. "We just haven't been able to get commitment from the women's golfers that we need. I have had many golfers say they are coming to Calvin, and then in the summer months call me up and tell me they aren't playing or going somewhere else. I have made literally hundreds of calls to potential golfers, asking them to come to Calvin."

Honderd also commented about a lack of quality golfers in the area. "With many of our local feeder schools not having great golf programs, it is hard to pick up golfers from the area. Many of the great women's golfers around here get pulled away with scholarships, it is really frustrating."

Golf is one of the most individual team sports in the collegiate arena. Each team is allowed to have six golfers out on the course at once. Only the top four finishers, however, count in scoring. Your score is simply how many stokes you completed the 18 holes in, with the lowest team winning. A solid golf team must have at least four consistent golfers who will score low each time out. Calvin does not have this luxury as coach Honderd explained, "We have three golfers who will shoot right around 100, but we had a hard time this year finding that consistent fourth spot."

This year marks the last year coach Honderd will coach women's golf as he will hand over position to some one else next year after five years of service. "We need to keep working hard and stay on top of recruiting," commented Honderd with a glimmer of optimism in his eye. "Golf is one of those sports that can get turned around in just one year. All of a sudden you can have three or four great golfers turn up in one year, and then you are a contender again."

One of Calvin's top golfers, senior Alyssa Bruinsma, finished 21st in the MIAA with a 18-hole scoring average of 102.6 and a low round of 97 strokes. "The biggest frustration for me is the lack of getting good golfers to play here. There are too many good golfers walking the halls of Calvin that really should be playing. I also feel that the athletic department should take us more seriously , because I think that if they take us seriously then we will take ourselves more seriously."

Another top finisher for the Knights was freshman Dawn Svenkeson, checking in at 22nd in the conference with a 103.8 average.

Despite the poor finish in the league Honderd said that Calvin showed class at each jamboree. "There were a lot of other player from different schools that wanted to play with our girls," he said. "I think they represented Calvin well, and showed a lot of class and for that I am very thankful."

Bruinsma agreed, "We know that we are not going to be competing for the top spots, but we go out there and give it our best effort, trying to make a good afternoon out of it. I feel like we have a very good relationship with the girls from other schools, it is nice to be able to have fun and joke around with them."

Women's Golf


MIAA Golf

 

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