2009 Calvin Women’s Golf Preview
Saturday, August 08, 2009
After a ninth place MIAA finish in 2008, the Calvin women’s golf team has nowhere to go but up. The Knights have designs on doing just that this fall as they return three key seniors.
The senior class consists of Kelli Visser, Emily Tuuk and Julienne Louters - all graduates of Grand Rapids Christian High School. In fact, the top four for the Knights could feature an all-Grand Rapids Christian High School flair as incoming freshman Elise Doezema is also a Grand Rapids Christian product.
Heading into her fourth year in the Calvin women’s golf program, Visser has produced strong results throughout her career, averaging 99.3 strokes-per round in 2006, 91.8 in 2007 and 93.8 in 2008. Her average in 2008 was good for 24th in the final MIAA individual standings. Visser’s top 2008 performance came at an MIAA jamboree hosted by Calvin at the Thornapple Pointe Golf Club with Visser tying for 10th place with a round of 85.
Tuuk finished 26th in the final 2008 MIAA individual standings with an average of 94.8 strokes-per-round. In 2007, she placed 18th with an average of 88.8 strokes-per-round that ranks as the second-best single-season average in Calvin history.
Louters meanwhile is a welcome re-addition to the team after missing the 2008 league season while studying abroad. In 2007, Louters had a season average of 100.0 strokes-per-round after compiling an average of 105.3 in 2006.
“We will really on the senior leadership and experience of Kelli, Emily, and Julienne,” said head coach Jerry Bergsma. “Each are very motivated to finish their college golf careers on a high note. Each has made continuous improvement each year and are capable of low scores.”
A multiple-sport athlete, Doezema also brings plenty of promise to the Calvin lineup according to Bergsma. “Elise is experienced and ready to contribute at the collegiate level,” said Bergsma. “She has solid all-around game and will be a great addition to the team.”
The possibility of further additions to the Calvin roster also remains but will not be determined until pre-season practices begin in late August.
Calvin opens the year on September 11 and 12 when it competes at the Olivet Comet Invitational at the Medalist Golf Club. Calvin will also compete at the Alma Invitational on September 26. The first MIAA outing of the year will take place on September 17 with Albion serving as host at the Medalist Golf Club. The outing will be the first of four league outings. The season will conclude on October 9 and 10 with the 36-hole MIAA Tournament set to take place at the Bedford Valley Country Club in Battle Creek.
“Our biggest goal is to drop our scores,” said Bergsma. “Another goal is to move up in the conference standings. Having said that, I do want to recognize the high caliber of play in our league. We had three teams (Olivet, Hope and Saint Mary’s) that were ranked in the Top 25 nationally last year and two (Olivet and Saint Mary’s) that advanced to the NCAA III Tournament. There were also seven teams that had team averages below 380 strokes-per-round. In short, if we want to move up, we’ll need to increase our level of play.”
Calvin will also seek achievement in the classroom as the Knights earned the MIAA Team GPA Award for the 2008-09 academic year – receiving the award for the second year in a row. The award is given out to teams that maintain a cumulative team grade point average of 3.30 or above.