The animal that is the Michigan women’s golf team is about to go
into its annual hibernation.

No more invitationals, no more tournaments and no more cold
weather will be in store for the Wolverines for over three months.
But before the team bundles up for the winter, it has one more
competition to take care of – the Lady Paladin Invitational, held
this weekend in Greenville, S.C.

Unlike many other sports at Michigan, golf consists of two
seasons: fall and spring. During the winter, when there is a break
from competition, the team completes cardio and weight training. In
addition, the Wolverines work on individual technique as formal
competition, which begins in February, draws closer.

However, some kinks are already being worked out. Last weekend,
the Wolverines struggled with their short game, which accounted for
their disappointing sixth place finish in a field of 12 teams.
Since then, Michigan has worked consistently to correct this.

“We’ve put more emphasis on the putting game,” Michigan coach
Kathy Teichert said. “We did not have a good weekend of putting. It
just was not good.”

This weekend will prove to be an important test to assess the
level that the Wolverines are at, going into their winter
“break.”

“It is important for our confidence to show signs of
improvement,” Teichert said. “We haven’t played any easy golf
courses to get some lower scores. We’reexpecting better things this
week. If we see better scores, we’ll be very happy.”

For this to happen, Michigan needs good rounds from its
established golfers, namely Laura Olin and Amy Schmucker. Last
week, Olin finished with 78-81-77 and Schmucker shot 81-80-76. More
consistent scores will be needed this weekend in all three
rounds.

“We’re expecting Laura Olin and Amy Schmucker to be the starting
block,” Teichert said. “We need to keep seeing a good effort from
them.”

Brandi Zielinski also needs to contribute if the Wolverines want
to end the fall season on a good note. Teichert has put her in the
fifth and final spot, which means her scores will count towards the
team’s score.

The fall and spring seasons count towards NCAA qualifications,
but competitions in the spring are given greater emphasis when
determining standings, because the NCAA gives preference to teams
performing the best around tournament time. According to Teichert,
for some other teams around the nation, winter invitationals are
used for training and aren’t taken as seriously as the spring
competitions.

But Michigan isn’t like every other team.

For the Wolverines, winning, along with improvement, is just as
important – no matter when the competition takes place.

“Every tournament counts,” Teichert said. “We’re hoping this
weekend to put it all together. If we put together low scores
together as a team, that will tell us we can do it in the
spring.”

 

 

 

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