Normally, a college golf team has five golfers compete in an event, and the top four scores count for the team. This spring, the Pointers golf team only has three players.
Last fall, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point golf team was struggling with only four members on their team. Now they have been cut down to a group of three.
“The spring has been rough, to say the least,” said Pointers Head Coach Melissa Martin. “We are not competing as a team but as individuals.”
The lack of players hasn’t been the only challenge for the Pointers, as the weather has affected their season too.
“We had to play our first two tournaments without ever playing on grass here at home,” Martin said. “We are just now getting out onto the grass.”
“It was a struggle to go from the artificial turf at Sentry to actual grass,” said senior Olivia Schiefelbein. “The other teams that are farther south had been hitting off grass for weeks, so we were at a disadvantage.”
Even with all of the stress the weather has put on the team, Schiefelbein said the team has stayed calm. “We’ve really kept our heads about the weather,” Schiefelbein said.
The Pointers have participated in two events so far this spring at Bloomington, Ill. and UW-Whitewater. The next tournament comes at UW-Eau Claire this Saturday. It will be the team’s last tournament of the spring.
The team’s top performer has been McKenna Prestigiacomo, who finished 31 out of 93 golfers in Bloomington and 11 out of 33 golfers at UW-Whitewater.
Despite the team’s struggles, Martin is very proud of her student- athletes.
“The girls have done a great job of not getting extremely upset with their performances this spring,” Martin said. “It’s hard to be competing at the level you were in the fall when we have hardly been on grass.”
So after a rough season, the Pointers will look ahead to next season. Schiefelbein will be leaving the team, so now three spots are up for grabs.
Martin is eager about the group that she has gotten together to compete for a spot on the team next season.
“I’m really excited for the fall. I’ve got several new players coming in, and I’m working on a few more,” Martin said.
The team will also hold an open tryout in mid-August with anyone welcome to attend and try to make the team. Those interested in tryouts should email Coach Martin at email@example.com.
“We really need more recruits. We need more girls to be competitive,” Schiefelbein said. “It takes time away from school and social lives. But it’s fun, and we always have a blast together.”