Golf adjusts to team changes in hopes for continued winning streak

The golf team experienced a significant change this season to the dynamic of the players and the overall legacy of the program. Under the leadership of Head Coach Sheryl Severance, the team struggled to obtain a winning record after previously achieving a record of at least .500 for all of Severance’s twenty-two years of coaching.

“When we don’t have a really strong team, we like to at least have a winning season,” Severance said. Currently, the team has a record of 7–8–1, which falls just short of a .500 record. However, the score from the match against Hightstown High School on May 19 has been sent for appeal from the referee and the opposing coach.

“What happened [at the meet] is that the [PHS] golfer hit a provisional ball because he thought his ball might be lost,” Severance said. “Once he got to the site of the first ball, he found [his original ball] and continued to play the first ball as if it was just the first shot.”

“We actually won, but [the referees] counted it as a loss because of a rule technicality, but once we get that appealed we will have achieved our goal of finishing over .500,” said Co-Captain Maxwell Tarter ’15.

Max Rodewald ’15 practices his drive at Princeton Country Club on June 7.  Photo: Nathan Drezner

Max Rodewald ’15 practices his drive at Princeton Country Club on June 7.
Photo: Nathan Drezner

The appeal is riding on the response from Hightstown High School’s coach. “The other coach disqualified [our player] without knowing that he shouldn’t have been disqualified,” Severance said.

Because the team has not had a losing season for the past 22 years, the golfers have been able to focus on individual goals and expand their expectations beyond just reaching a winning season. Severance said the key to improving the team is to improve the techniques of the individual players. “[One of] my goals is [for players] … to improve their short game because a short game is where they are going to score better,” Severance said.

Members of varying skill hoped to improve their individual game. For example, first-time player Caitlin Duncan ’15 said, “I know [for] me personally I wanted to work on my swing and accuracy … [but also] have a good time.”

Tarter’s goals were specific to his short game as well. “I wanted to have an average under 45 [strokes], which I did,” Tarter said. “I broke 40 [strokes] one round and I played my last match well, so I was happy.”

Next season, the team looks forward to honing the skills of future golfers. “I’m just going to go to the golf course hopefully at least once every other day [this summer], and practice on the driving range as well,” said Kelly Qiu ’17.

Severance ends this season content with the team’s efforts and believes that the appeal will swing in the team’s favor. “It’s always exciting to have some controversy,” she said. Despite the uncertainty about the program’s continued winning streak, the golfers remain enthusiastic about the season as a whole.

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