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No off-season for golf

BY ROD ENGBLOM | APRIL 30, 2015 5:00 AM

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Golf season, like many other sports, spans the majority of the time from spring to fall, with the main part of the season taking place during the summer.

The college-golf season, on the other hand, is short. The season is divided into two halves with the fall season running from September to early November and the spring season going from from late February into late April.

With trips to Southwestern and Southern schools such as Arizona and Georgia during the early spring season, the team only plays in the Midwest for three matches during the fall and spring. 

With the college-golf season not including the vast majority of the traditional season, golfers have to continue to play competitive golf on their own during the summer in order to keep their skills sharp. 

“We strongly recommend them playing as much competitive golf as possible,” head coach Megan Menzel said. “Summer is the height of the season, and it’s an opportunity to gain confidence, and improve their games, and look at what their weaknesses are, and put together a plan that they can improve from.”

Some typical tournaments Iowa golfers compete in include the LPGA qualifier, the Open qualifier, and the Iowa Women’s Amateur.

Tournament play enables golfers to keep playing under pressure throughout the off-season instead of playing for herself where the shots aren’t worth anything, just for practice.

This year, sophomore Jessie Sindliger will play in a new tournament in Michigan.

“This year they’re holding the LPGA qualifier in Michigan, and all the Big Ten players get to play in qualifying groups,” Sindlinger said. “The two people who win the tournament get to play in a LPGA event in July.”

This is a way for Sindlinger to practice playing golf against some of the best players in the country, giving her her vital experience.

Coupled with advocating competitive tournaments, Menzel tries to focus on individual players and attempts to map out a plan for each to work on over the summer. The players stay in contact with her in order to track their progress.

While the coaches are not allowed to schedule practices for the team during the off-season, they can still help the players if they come back to Iowa City to use the facility or for help.

“I’m going to stay around here for most of the summer and use our facilities,” Sindlinger said. “I’m going to work on my short game, which is what we determined was the area of my game that needed the most improvement.”

Sindlinger, like the vast majority of college golfers, also has a swing coach she sees throughout the summer. That coach also talks with the Hawkeye coaches to update them on her progress.

But in the end of the day, consistently practicing is the best way to prepare for the season.

“I just play a lot of golf,” freshman Morgan Kukla said. “I try to play everyday weather permitting.”

Follow @RodEngblom on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s golf team.


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