Justin Pastoor-Staff Writer
Numerous mental, physical and strategic aspects go into hitting one little white ball. Coaches Mark Christians and Matt Nice take the men’s and women’s golf teams out each day to help them balance all of this.
Results are beginning to show.
In Christians’ 11th year of coaching, his squad consists of 17 men, nine of whom are upperclassmen providing a good mix of experience and etiquette at the college level. The rest are youth coming in to learn the ropes.
“We have had some very good rounds this year,” said Christians. “[We started] with a team score of 293 in the first round of the Siouxland Invitational. Our next best team score was a 299 n the first round of the Palace City Classic in Mitchell, S.D.”
The score of 293 in Orange City, Iowa for the Siouxland Invitational was led by junior Madison Moss with a low of 71, followed by senior Derek Fox and sophomore Conner Rothert, each with scores of 73. The team placed a season-high second place out of 17 teams.
Moss again led his team at the Palace City Classic, shooting another low of 71 with Nathan Middel close behind shooting a 74 and Rothert recording a 76 as the team placed sixth out of 11. At each of the GPAC qualifier meets the team has placed ninth and 10th overall.
“So far conditions for meets have been pretty good, minus the second GPAC Qualifier,” said Moss. “This is definitely one of the better teams I’ve been on this year. We have the potential to make a big jump in the rankings come spring.”
Nice’s women’s team is slightly smaller, sporting a group of eight; four juniors and four freshmen. The team’s low score of the year was a 359 at the GPAC Qualifier #1 which took place at Wild Oak Golf Course in Mitchell, S.D. Junior Renae Visser led the team with a low score of 87 with junior Kim Brumfield close behind at 89 and freshman Kristen Stoffels at 91.
In late September, Visser set a new Dordt women’s golf record for an 18-hole course by shooting a season-low 81 at the Dakota Wesleyan Invite in Mitchell. The previous record of 85 was set by Visser two years ago as a freshman.
“It feels really good to have things finally start to come together, with all the work that coach nice has done with my swing,” said Visser. “I have mentally improved a lot in the last year, making it easier to make everything fall in place.”
The women’s team has placed sixth and ninth at each of the GPAC qualifier meets this fall. Throughout the fall and spring seasons for both men and women, there are two GPAC qualifiers to determine the conference champion, who moves on to the National NAIA Golf Championship in May.
Between the two seasons, work goes into finding a repeatable swing for each player and establishing mental clarity each time they step on the course.