Girls’ golf kicks off with a large, skilled team


Sophia Salmon

Golfer Audrey Peterson prepares for her next match.

Aidan Bergman, Staff Writer

The golf season is starting up this spring, and the Benilde-St. Margaret’s girls’ varsity golf team is ready. The golfers missed their season last year, so they are anxious to compete this year. 

Missing an entire season can have a big effect on any program as the coaches and players alike have no clue what to expect for the upcoming season. For coaches, it can be especially confusing trying to figure out how to rebuild the team. “Going into this year, we had a lot of girls that we haven’t seen in two years, so it’s kind of weird to see girls we had as 8th graders, and then all of the sudden they’re sophomores. So just seeing how they’ve developed and changed, it’s rebuilding relationships from a coaching-to-player standpoint,” head coach Mr. Jay Meterhoff said.

This has also left some holes in the program from a player standpoint as well as inversely helping the program with its numbers. “This year we actually have more girls that have tried out than last year because we missed last year and because a lot of girls picked up golf over COVID, but also it gives girls who are trying to go play college golf … less time to have scouts come look and be noticed,” captain Clara Halverson said.

The team is currently focusing on finding and forming new talent to help them in the coming years. This long term thinking is the team’s current strategy to rebuild the program after the lost season. “We want to get better each and every day, to see improvement, continue to improve every day, and then continue to work hard. We had so many matches cancelled and shuffled around due to guidelines we’re following. It would’ve been great to get them to play more to get that experience. But that being said, we’re getting them out on the course during practice to get used to playing,” Meyerhoff said. 

Every other program in the state missed a season, so they are all dealing with the same problems. Even through these problems, BSM’s competition has stayed the same. “So in conference, Chanhassen and Chaska are fantastic, they have two wonderful coaches and great kids … Bloomington-Jefferson, their coach and their program has done a fantastic job rebuilding that program as well. From a state-wide standpoint, it’s really hard to know. A lot of coaches that I’ve spoken to have [fallen] into the same trap that we all have of not knowing what is going to happen or transpire or how kids [are] going to be or kids moving to different schools or moving to different states,” Meyerhoff said. 

The numbers for this year increased dramatically in terms of the number of people they had trying out. This has helped a lot for the coaches’ long term rebuilding plan to find and form new talent. “I’d say out of the 40 plus girls that we have, 28 of them are really promising and really young … The amount of improvement we’ve seen from the girls is tremendous. Their willingness to learn, their willingness to work hard at practice. So to single someone out would be difficult because there’s so many that I could single out,” Meyerhoff said. 

Because the pandemic is still in effect as of right now, the conference has had to make changes to keep the players safe and minimize exposure in order for the season to continue, and BSM is taking more precautions to ensure they can play out the season to its fullest effect. “We have, at least the girls have, two different locations where we practice, so we just split the team in half, and we’re not mixing. Our conference is [also playing] in pods. So typically in golf the number one ranked players from each team all play together and the number twos and et cetera, but this year, it’s Benilde only plays with Benilde girls, and we have two separate pods of three instead of ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes. There aren’t as many matches; there aren’t as many invitationals; there’s a lot of strict rules about how many coaches can come to a tournament, how many players can come to a tournament,” Halverson said.