UNCG Spartan Women’s Golf has kicked off their season. The team did not lose a single member to graduation or transference, so they are coming back as strong as ever.
Last season, the Spartans played pretty well, their best finish being a second place tie on the first day of the Starmount Forest Fall Classic.
While the team performed well last season, they are looking to improve even more with the addition of freshman golfer Hailey Joy.
“[We’re] excited about Hailey,” Head Coach Janell Howland said during practice on Saturday. “She’s young and she has a lot to learn like any freshman coming in. She’s ready to step right in and do what she has to do to get into the lineup.”
Hailey is not the only new addition to the team. The Blue and Gold also brought in a new assistant coach from Indiana University East, Brittnay Whatley.
Coach Howland likes the addition. “Brittnay is going to be good,” she said. “She has a year under her belt from IU East. I think she’s going to be a good addition.”
Junior Kendall Dobbins approves of the add as well, saying, “I really like her. She seems like she is knowledgeable.”
With these two new pieces in place for the team, it seems like they have abundant amounts of strength and determination. Coach Howland would agree, saying that she’s “excited.”
“[We] have a good group of girls who are ready to get some work done,” Coach Howland said. “I think that they have seen the benefits of strength and determination in the past, and now they are even more determined to go out there and continue that success.”
Through this strength and determination, Dobbins has set the goal of winning a conference title. Joy aspires to be a Southern Conference champion as well, which appears to be the mindset for the entire team.
There is always room for improvement, however. Howland thinks that, as a whole, the team needs to work on their short game. “[We] are really good at ball-striking, but I think we need to work on some short game variety and creativity.”
Personally, Joy mentioned that she wanted to improve upon “approach shots into the green,” while Dobbins is hoping to improve “off the tee,” citing that she doesn’t “want any more out-of-bounds, no more hazards, just fairway.”
The team schedule this year is intriguing and will be enjoyable for the whole team. They kick the season off on September 17 at Ptarmigan Country Club in Fort Collins, Co. They then enjoy a homestand at Starmount Forest Country Club for two days on October 1 and 2. They play one day at the Clover Cup in March in Mesa, Az, then finish the home matches of the season at Bryan Park in Greensboro. The postseason will be held in Hilton Head, South Carolina in mid-April.
When asked about thoughts regarding this season’s matchups, Coach Howland stated, “[We] have a good mix of schedule. We have some tournaments that we’ve been to that we’ve had success in, and we have some tournaments that’ll be a little bit tougher. I think it’s going to be a good balance for us, and I think we have a good opportunity to go out and win a couple of tournaments, which is one of the team’s goals this year.”
Dobbins is “most excited to play in our tournament in Arizona, and also our home tournament at Starmount,” while Joy said that she believes the team has “really good strength in field this year.”
It seems that the whole team is excited for Starmount.
“It’s a great golf course for us and I’m just really excited this year,” Coach Howland said.
All-in-all, the season is looking very bright for the Spartan women’s golf team. They need a strong showing of fans at their home events this year. They look strong and appear to be legitimate contenders for the SoCon championship, so keep an eye on them.