Girls Golf Soars Above Competition to Win Conference and Knight Cup

Team goes undefeated leading up to GACs and now prepares for districts

Lizzie Kayser, Co Editor-in-chief of The Ledger

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, the varsity girls golf team won their conference championship. The day before they took first place at the Knight Cup tournament. Getting there was certainly no easy feat, but looking at their season thus far, this back-to-back win is no surprise. In every conference match leading up to GACs (Gateway Athletic Conference), they were undefeated. 

“The golf team has grown tremendously over this year. Both as a collective whole pulling for one another to succeed, as well as individually through dedication and hard work,” golf coach Mr. Cole said. “Our goal since day one has been to play our best golf in late September and October and after the week we have had winning the Knight Cup and then GAC’s, I would say we are heading in the right direction.”

Sarah Downs Freshman Sophie Chenot hits her driver off the tee box at St. Peters Golf Course in a match against Fort Zumwalt East.

The Knight Cup was a close victory between Liberty and Timberland. In overtime, sophomore Kyndall Stubblefield and senior Kelly Karre- sinking a 12ft par putt- secured the winning title for the team. 

The golfers compete in both conference matches and separate tournaments in the first part of their season. They earn points by winning matches, which is factored into their final score at the GAC Tournament. Though the team was already undefeated (9-0), the points received at the final tournament are weighed much higher than the matches- meaning that there was still a chance they could lose. However, rather than letting this weigh them down, the Eagles soared even higher above their competition- Karre won, Stubblefield finished second, and freshman Sophie Chenot and sophomore Madalyn Breckenridge both medaled. 

“Our biggest competition all season was Fort Zumwalt South, who we beat 10-0 in our match, but if they beat us in the tournament, they could take home the win,” senior Grace Pickering said. “I think we knew there was a good chance we would win, but we knew it wouldn’t be easy.”

To do well in golf, as with any sport, requires hard work and dedication. Every day after school, the team heads to the Wentzville Driving Range or the Golf Club of Wentzville to practice. Along with honing their physical skills, they train to be of sound mind when golfing, capable of analyzing every environmental aspect that could affect their shot. What an onlooker sees is only a small piece of what truly goes into golf. 

“Golf is a mentally challenging game that teaches you how to control your attitude. Every shot counts and if you let a bad shot create a bad attitude you aren’t going to have a great day,” Kyndall Stubblefield said. “Golf also teaches you how to be responsible for yourself. You alone are accountable for every shot.”

In a game where your mind is both your biggest help and biggest hindrance, guidance is essential to keep you out of your own head. That’s where coaches come in. For the past two seasons, Mr. Cole has coached the golfers with the help of Mr. Lindsay, who started as an assistant coach this year. Many golfers attribute good coaching to their success. The team has cycled through several coaches throughout the years, and while a challenge, each coach allowed the team to grow in a new way. 

“They have all been super supportive and positive,” Karre said. “Sodemann was always pushing us to improve and focus on what was next. Ashby always inspired me and has taught me many things to better both my golf game and my outlook on life. Cole is our biggest cheerleader and has the ability to cheer me up when I’m feeling upset with myself. Lindsay is very knowledgeable and encouraging, he helps me make wise decisions.”

Karre has been a part of golf since her freshman year. As the team grew, she was able to grow alongside it.

Sarah Downs Senior Kelly Karre putts in at St. Peters Golf Course.

“As a golfer, I think I’ve matured a lot and have begun to realize that I have the skills to come back if things aren’t going well,” Karre said. 

Bouncing back is vital when it comes to golf. When one day doesn’t work out, they have to be ready to tackle it again the next. 

“Golf is so much harder than it seems. It takes a lot of effort, stamina, and a good mindset. Your attitude truly determines how you play, and many people don’t understand that you can have good days and bad days,” Breckenridge said. “Golf is a very physically exhausting sport. Often, tournaments take almost five hours, and matches take around two. We play in the heat, cold, and even the rain, Additionally, we have to walk the entire time -no golf carts! It is very underrated as a sport, and I want people to know that it is much harder that you may think, and it deserves just as much credit as other sports.”

Indeed, determination is what makes the golf team thrive. However, though each girl swings on her own, this extends far beyond the individual. 

“Each and every one of the girls on my team work so hard to go out there every day and do their best, for themselves, sure, but more so for the team,” Pickering said. “Golf is really interesting because we all go out there and play our own game, but when it comes down to it, you really want to do the best you can for your team.”

Cole, with an incredible season under his belt, believes that this is what truly makes the team special.

“I am extremely proud of our team. High school golf is technically a team sport played by individuals. However, this particular group of Lady Eagle’s takes the word teammate to heart, Cole said.  Although we are conference champs, undefeated in the regular season, and won a lot this year,  I am still most proud of how they support one another both on and off the course as individuals and teammates.”

Girls golf will compete in Districts on Oct. 12.