They’re pumped up
Golf team adjusting to 'fresh start'
Early this season, members of the Moffat County girls golf team walked onto the track and their identities were mistaken.
“I think someone on the track team said, ‘Oh, look: the soccer team,'” coach Ann Marie Hamilton said.
The girls quickly corrected the tracksters to let them know that no, they were the girls golf team and yes, they were going to run.
Hamilton has them lifting and running as part of their regimen. It’s something she picked up when she was a pro golfer.
“The guy I was training with started lifting, and I decided to too,” she said. “It increased my distance.”
Hamilton also mentioned that after walking 18 holes for a tournament or 36 holes in a two-day tournament takes energy.
“If they’re in better shape that will help the last few holes,” the coach said.
The girls appreciate the workout ideas from their new coach.
“Everybody gets a big laugh when we’re out on the track,” jun-ior Brittany Goss said. “But it’s good for us, and it gives us a break.”
The break is from hitting whiffle balls inside a gym when conditions are too poor to be out on the course. The team has been practicing for a month, but other than tournaments has been outside onlyonce.
Hamilton is a goal-oriented coach and she had her girls write down month-to-month goals at the start of the season. For the five girls who had some time on varsity last year, they all wanted to be under a score of 100 before the season was over.
“My goals for them might be a little higher,” Hamilton said. “But they’re obtainable.”
One aspect that Hamilton would like to see improve is the team’s course management.
“They don’t think when they’re out there,” she said. “They don’t know the best place to put the ball at times.”
Hamilton is a Moffat County graduate who played golf on the boys team because no girls team existed. She moved on to play professionally after high school and had just come back to Craig to help her brother when “things fell in place and I stayed.”
She initially planned to assist the girls team, but when Tom Dockstader resigned in February she became the coach.
“I think we have a good rapport,” she said. “It has been a smooth transition.”
The transition may have been smooth, but the girls golf team has had much more attention than it is used to after Dockstader’s resignation. The former coach resigned shortly before allegations of sexual relationship with a student became public.
None of the girls interviewed thought the allegations would affect them on the course, but away from the greens is a different story.
“We don’t really talk about it (as a team), but it’s there,” senior Kaylee Perry said. “It’s a personal thing to us, and I think at first we were worried about how the transition would go and how (Hamilton) would handle it. But she’s made it easy on us.”
The new coach said the events surrounding the former coach haven’t been an issue.
“They haven’t said one thing,” she said.
Junior Chelsey Herod said she and her teammates often are confronted with questions.
“People almost think it’s funny to come up and ask us what we know about things,” she said.
“It’s like when you see people from Hollywood in trouble on television and everybody wants to know,” Goss said. “That’s what it’s like for us sometimes.”
Needless to say, they’re anxious for the weather to warm up so they can play some golf.
“We sort of have a fresh start,” Goss said. “It’s hard overall because we were brought into it, but we’re here to play golf.”
The team returns five girls who played at least one round on varsity last year. Perry was consistently in the top three for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Amber Nicholson had the team’s second-best score at the regional. Herod, Goss and junior Amy Coulter traded off for the team’s fourth and fifth varsity spots.
With the addition of freshman Meghan Innes, the team won’t have any trouble with competition for the top five spots.
Goss, Perry and Herod said their goals were to be consistently in the 90s. Hamilton just hoped for the team to get into a routine.
“Once they get into a routine it will be easier,” she said. “I want to see each of them improve.”
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