Golf is a game of ups and downs, and the best of the best know how to turn a bad lie or a shanked drive into a birdie. Tough course conditions are the great equalizer because everyone must play the same 18 holes with the same hazards and tree lines. The real distinguishing factors on the links are confidence and attitude.
“Golf is such a psychological game and that really affects the game for just about everyone,” said Wheaton’s golf coach Tom Cardle.
The Wheaton women’s golf team certainly has many reasons to feel pressure entering the fall season. Surprisingly, there are no freshman on the squad this year because the team’s three recruits decided not to commit at the last minute. Senior captain Ariana Kim is out for the fall season with a leg injury, reducing the grand total of players able to play. That means each player on the team has to compete in every invitational this season.
It is definitely not the tee box Cardle hoped to be driving from as he starts his second season as Wheaton’s head coach for both men’s and women’s golf, but he’s optimistic the team still has potential for a strong season.
“We have a great team, and the girls have such a great attitude going into the season,” said Cardle.
The team has also responded well to the changes. When asked about the upcoming season, junior Kylie Monson said, “It is a little stressful knowing that you have to play well each weekend because there’s only five of us, but we are all returning players and we don’t have the stress of competing for a spot on the team.”
While the psychology of the game has a large impact on each player’s performance, together they are handling the challenges as a team. Always the optimist, Monson explained the team can finally all fit into one car, which will lead to increased time for team bonding opportunities. With only one month until the CCIW tournament and the odds less in the team’s favor than normal, those bonding moments and a positive team outlook might make all the difference for the Thunder.
Wheaton’s season begins this weekend in Bristol Wisconsin against Carthage College at the Bristol Oaks Country Club.