With the first nine matches of the spring season under her belt, freshman Amy Schmucker is a rising star on the Michigan women’s golf team. Schmucker is no stranger to the game – she swung her first club at age three, and has practiced on the golf course since she was six.

“My dad is a diehard golfer,” Schmucker said. “I’ve always been golfing.”

Schmucker’s dedication has paid off – she is the only freshman who has competed in every tournament this season. In her first collegiate match, the Wolverine Invitational, Schmucker tied sophomore Laura Olin with a fourth-place finish out of 66 girls and 11 teams.

“Amy is young, and she kind of needs to learn the system,” Michigan coach Kathy Teichert said. “But she’s in a good position right now. She’s solidified herself in our lineup, and now we just need her to keep doing better and better every time out.”

To help with her game, Schmucker sticks with her long-time superstitions. She always warms up with the same clubs, marks her ball tail side, and starts out with four tees in her pocket.

“I think way back when, when I had the best round ever, I had four tees in my pocket,” Schmucker said. “So now it’s just become something obsessive-compulsive.”

Schmucker has become an important part of the team, but Teichert is looking for more consistency from her freshman.

“There is room for improvement in her game,” Teichert said. “Amy can be shooting 75s day in and day out, but it’s a mistake here, a mistake there, a pulled shot, a shot in the water, or a shot out of bounds that leaves her one or two shots away from making it all come together.”

Although her game isn’t perfect, Schmucker has been dedicated to improving her swing and bettering her up-and-down percentages.

“Her last two tournaments that we’ve had, she’s hit the ball much better, her up-and-down percentages have increased, and these small improvements have been enabling her to bring down her scores,” Teichert said.

Only with hard work has Schmucker been able to strengthen her weaknesses. In terms of work ethic, Schmucker knows that she always has room to improve as a player.

“I set goals, and I work hard to achieve those goals,” Schmucker said. “So I think in doing that, I am always striving to do better and go above and beyond my expectations.”

Schmucker has made a name for herself, and her teammates and coaches expect great things from her for the rest of the season.

“Amy has a fire in her eye,” Teichert said. “She has the potential, and she has the ability to be an excellent player. With time, she will start getting the mental aspect down, but I think she’s very comfortable in the role she’s playing now. She’s really starting to understand in practices what she needs to make it to the next level.”

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