Girls’ golf team gears up for season


Players Kylee Takata and Lauren Goulart practice putting during practice.

Golf requires not only skill, but also to be a strong mentally. This season of girls’ golf is looking brighter than seasons in the past, according to Coach Derek Solano, and a few girls who are in their final year of the sport.

Solano has been involved in coaching the sport for a while, as he used to assist the previous coach before he stepped in and began coaching the girls’ team himself.

I enjoy the aspect of the sport in how it’s very individual; there are no parents or fans in the stands getting angry and yelling, and there’s no referee. The whole setup is very laidback.

— Derek Solano

Because the sport is more individual, a lot of the girls playing take lessons with a swing coach. Solano makes an effort to not interfere with whatever coaching the girls receive, unless he feels it’s necessary or he’s approached specifically for help by anyone on the team.

“I’m there to help them with the understanding and management of the games and matches, as well as the mental aspect of the sport,” Solano said.

Golf is about focus and patience, and requires more than just technical skills.

Kylie Takata, senior, has been playing since her sophomore year and knows all about the necessary skills for the sport.

“I’d say your mentality is most important. If you get really harsh on yourself in the middle of the game, you’ll do even worse. You kind of have to stay positive the whole time,” Takata said.

Solano feels the best way to stay positive throughout a match is by learning to let go when you don’t score well, and make up for it somewhere else along the way.

“You have to be able to handle the pressure,” he said.

The experience of eight returning golfers—six seniors and juniors and two sophomores—will serve as an advantage for the whole team this season.

“Having returners is definitely helpful because they know the whole process of playing,” Solano said.

Bailey Whitlock, a senior who has been playing for two years, feels more confident as well because of these skilled returners supporting the team.

“Even though we’re in a new league this year, I do think we’re going to do pretty well,” she said.

There are a few teams the girls and Solano seem to be worried about, specifically St. Mary’s and Lincoln.

“We probably aren’t going to be the best team out, but I think we’ve improved since last year,” Solano said.

As of now, Solano can’t be too sure how the girls are going to do, but after pre season it’ll be easier to tell where the team will advance.

“I’m curious to see how everything is going to pan out,” he said.