Women’s golf takes decisive first swings in spring season

Peter Clark

After bursting onto the Northwest Conference golf scene last spring, the Whitman Women’s Golf Team is looking to improve on a successful start to the season. Following a second-place finish in the NWC last year, the Missionaries have continued their exceptional play by capturing second place in the Fall Classic earlier this year. According to Coach Skip Molitor, the success in the fall should pay dividends as the season goes on.

“Success breeds success. It’s nice to have performances which you can look back on and gain confidence from,” said Molitor.

This past weekend, the team earned another confidence boost when they traveled to Wildhorse Country Club and battled through adverse weather conditions to earn a victory over NAIA powers College of Idaho and Lewis and Clark State.

In addition, the team is coming into the spring with months of training already boosting them ahead of the field. While some teams went into hibernation over the winter, the Missionaries took to the gym and participated in player-led workouts. Sophomore phenom Katie Zajicek, ranked tenth nationally in DIII golf, says the benefits of the workouts go past just getting into shape.

“Team workouts got us together and reminded us that we are a part of a team,” said Zajicek.

With individual sports like golf, it becomes easy for players to only focus on their individual score and forget about the team. Team workouts reinforce the emphasis on group success, and remind players that their individual scores accumulate to a more important group score.

Junior golfer Tate Head was a part of the growing pains the program went through in its earlier years, and couldn’t be happier with the current team camaraderie their group is thriving on.

“It’s been a lot of fun watching the team grow. My freshman year, we didn’t even have enough players to field a full team,” said Head.

Nowadays, the Lady Missionaries have their eyes on the Conference crown. With a team comprised of mostly underclassmen accompanied by two stellar juniors, the sky is the limit for this young team. Look for the Missionaries to continue their rise as they travel to Lakewood, March 10- 11 for the PLU Invitational, and then Southern California, March 22-23 for the Spring Fling Invitational hosted by Augustana.