Golf teams look to bounce back from rough start
TNE Editor
/ Categories: RiverHawk Athletics, Golf

Golf teams look to bounce back from rough start

Published 10/23/17

Valeriia Efimenko

TNE Writer

As golf is a two-semester, year-round sport, the NSU men’s and women’s golf teams are at the halfway point of the regular season. At this point, the women’s team is well positioned to earn 17 NCAA championships bids, and the men are in a dogfight to earn 17 NCAA bids. 

“We work harder through practices, workouts and team meetings than the majority of teams in the country,” said Scott Varner, NSU golf head coach. “I treat my kids fairly, zero politics and totally performance-based, and stress personal responsibility and accountability.” 

The players are highly motivated and ready for this season. They know their goals, daily and overall expectations. One of the members of the women’s golf team, Fiona Hakanen, Helsinki, Finland senior, shared her thoughts about the team’s success.

“The key to success is consistency, motivation and practicing the right things the right way, not the amount of time consumed to practice,” said Hakanen. “Coach Varner has a very consistent program, and he's been using almost the same practice routine for his players for years. He is pretty strict but in a good way. He would never sugarcoat anything to us on the team. I think that's a good thing. If we play bad, he tells us. If we play good, he praises us.”

Fall season has ended for both teams, but it did not go as well as coaches and players had expected.

“We did not start off the fall in the best way or the way we wanted, but I have big hopes about the spring,” said Ebba Moberg, Sundsvall, Sweden junior. “I think our team can and will achieve great things. We work hard, and that is the secret to success, because if you don't work harder than your opponents, how can you expect to beat them?”

Both the men’s and women’s teams use up the NCAA 20-hour practice limit during the season. In the off-season period of time they max out the 8-hour NCAA limit.  

“During season, we usually have short game and driving range practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Hakanen. “On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we have play practice either at Cherokee Springs, Tahlequah or somewhere close to Tulsa. Also, we work out on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, which includes three miles of running and a weight workout. I think it's a good mix in practice to keep it from getting boring.”

The women have been ranked in the top 25 nationally for 19 previous years, with half of that time in the top 10. The team is close to getting there again. On the men’s side, they ranked in the top 25 nationally 17 of the 19 previous years.

“We have several new players on both teams combined, including one standout, Sumie Francois, on our women's team,” said Varner. “She is a stud. We set a very high bar every year, and we are planning on winning the National Championship this year. We do not apologize for that either.”

The men’s and women’s golf teams will be in action again February 2018.

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