Indiana Wesleyan University has a new athletic team this year: women’s golf.
The team consists of six freshmen coached by Julie Wagner.
This is Wagner’s first coaching job, but she has played golf since age 24.
“I was working at a local course in Kokomo, where I live,” said Wagner. “I saw this opportunity come up and thought ‘Hey, why not give it a try?’ So it worked out pretty good.”
The team has played in two tournaments so far and medaled in both. The first was the Indiana East Invitational in Richmond, Ind., where Jessica Meloche (fr) took a medal home for low score. At the Transylvania University Invitational in Lexington, Ky., the IWU team won the tournament as well as individual medals for Carli Lauer and Meloche.
“I think all the ladies on the team are very capable of playing good golf,” Wagner said. “We kind of had a rough start when we first started practicing. And then when we got in tournament play, I saw a whole different side come out. Which is good, because the tournament atmosphere motivated them even more to really focus on their game and play well.”
Being an all-freshman team may turn challenging, according to Wagner.
“The girls are great,” Wagner said. “What you have with an all-freshman team is a lack of leadership. So I’m still waiting for that one person to step up and take that role.”
Still, Wagner is optimistic about the upcoming season.
“I think this fall season is a real building season so these ladies understand what they’ll be up against in the spring when we play in NAIA, which is a little bit bigger deal in terms of golf,” said Wagner.
Team member Jessica Meloche (fr) has played golf since eighth grade, and she’s more than ready to begin playing at the college level.
“I’m most excited about just getting the opportunity to golf with people who love it as much as I do, and being able to travel and be part of a team of girls who get along so well,” said Meloche.
Currently, the team is working toward qualifying for the NCCAA this October and the NAIA in May of 2013.
The team will compete locally at the Shady Hills Golf Course in Marion Sept. 28 and 29.