Valley Center High School is fielding an inexperienced golf team this year, and coach Mike McCormick is stressing fundamentals to a group largely composed of underclassmen.
“Our kids are all very new to the game,” he said. “These are not kids that go out and play the tournament circuits in the summer and things of that nature. … Our job is to do two things with them, and that is help them learn some fundamentals and have fun doing it.”
The Hornets participated in a nine-hole tournament Monday at Augusta Country Club. The girls put together a team score of 245. Augusta won with 195, followed by Maize South (203), Eureka (212), Circle (215) and Maize (244).
The Hornets’ top finisher was their only senior, Alexa Schultz, who carded a 56. McCormick said she missed a medal by only two shots.
Maddy Roberts and Ashlyn Gentry each compiled 61, while Ciara Duarte had 67.
“It’s been a good course for us before,” McCormick said of Augusta, “but we’re just trying to get better. I think we had four kids all score five to seven shots better than their previous score, their best score. We’re just trying to lower their personal best a little bit.
“We’ve seen improvement in ourselves,” he added. “Right now, like typical beginners, it’s not real consistent.”
McCormick said he saw some good and bad shots from his golfers Monday.
“The problem is we’re about half and half right now,” he continued. “We need to get that balance down. We need to go more 80/20 or 90/10. You want to build on the good shots; you want to remember them. You want the kids to remember what they did right on those shots.”
Fourteen girls went out for golf this season in Valley Center.
“We really have been working hard on grip and alignment with the club base,” McCormick explained. “I think the grip is what drives the entire swing. It’s really hard to get that to be done correctly.”
The Hornets will play in an 18-hole tournament Thursday, Sept. 20, at Hesston.
“Our competition is within ourselves - that’s our competition,” said McCormick. “I try to tell them not to worry about who they’re playing against. They’re playing against themselves; they’re playing against their last scores.”