Girls golf team competes in first meet, still looking for players
Wed, 08/26/2020 - 10:40am caleb
Vikings host 13-team tournament at the Grayling Country Club on Monday, August 24
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity girls golf team from Grayling High School started its 2020 fall season on Monday, August 24, hosting a 13-team meet at the Grayling Country Club.
Coach Nate Maury said the program is still trying to add players in order to have a roster big enough to post team scores at meets. The program had only two players for Monday’s meet – returning sophomore Paige Barkway and freshman Alyssa Huber – and the squad needs two more to post official team scores at tournaments.
Coach Maury said the program will provide clubs, and players would get plenty of time on the course with a full slate of meets scheduled for the 2020 fall campaign.
“They’ll get a lot of chances to play. They just (have to) show up,” Coach Maury said. “We’re open to anybody who wants to play.”
Any Grayling High School girls interested in playing golf this fall for the Vikings can contact Coach Maury via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday’s tournament at the Grayling Country Club featured several measures aimed at limiting the possible spread of COVID-19. Coach Maury said the players wore masks while warming up, and once the meet started, the competitors played in groups of three rather than groups of four as in years past. Also, the girls were instructed not to touch the flag sticks on the greens, and the site provided lunches in take-out boxes instead of having players gather for meals. Coach Maury said his players kept containers of hand sanitizer with them during play. Once the girls spread out on the course in their groups of two or three, a few wore masks while playing but most did not. Coaches and spectators and media wore face coverings as required.
“You get used to it,” Coach Maury said of wearing face coverings during practice and competition. “If that’s what it takes to play sports, I have no problem with it.”
Coach Maury said the COVID-19 precautions had little impact on the actual competition once the tournament got going.
“Once you actually tee off, it’s golf as normal,” Coach Maury said.
Golf is classified by the Michigan High School Athletic Association as a “low risk” sport. “Low risk sports can be done with physical distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors,” according to the MHSAA.
Golf meets are limited to 72 players at a venue this season.
Monday’s tournament at the Grayling Country Club – the season opener for the Vikings – featured 64 golfers.
Coach Maury said Huber and Barkway “played very well in their first tournament of the season.”
“Freshman Alyssa Huber led the way with a 139 and sophomore Paige Barkway shot a career best 158. Both girls have been putting in a ton of work in practice and it was nice to finally see things coming together. We still have a long way to go as a team but we started out strong and we look to keep building from here,” Coach Maury said. “Also we are always open to new golfers and no prior playing experience is needed as we will work on the fundamentals of the game and ease them into it.”
On Thursday, August 27, the Vikings competed in an 18-hole Lake Michigan Conference meet at Grandview Golf Course (Kalkaska). Actually, it was “Viking,” not “Vikings.”
“Sophomore Paige Barkway was the lone golfer for the Lady Vikes today and shot a 156, which is two strokes lower than Monday,” Coach Maury said. “Grandview is a very tough and hilly course and Paige was able to go out and overcome it. We need to keep improving on our short game but overall I was pleased with how Paige did. I am looking forward to having freshman Alyssa Huber back next week and competing at the Charlevoix City Course on Wednesday, September 2.”