North Texas Daily

Different courses prepare golf team

Different courses prepare golf team

Different courses prepare golf team
March 25
01:23 2014

Jordan Ottaway // Staff Writer

The Mean Green women’s golf team has a different form of learning that separates it from the other UNT sports, as each practice brings its own set of challenges, including the ground it stands on.

UNT consistently travels around the DFW area to one of the 10 golf courses that have allowed it to come and use their facilities, even though the players are not members.

Having multiple courses to choose from helps the players work on various aspects of their game throughout the week. What the players will work on in practice varies depending on what course they are at that day.

Senior Taylor Kilponen said she enjoys the fact her game is tested in a different way at each course.

“I like playing Trophy Club because that course is challenging and more hilly,” Kilponen said. “It challenges me, but it’s also fair.”

Freshman Eji Kwon said the team takes advantage of the whole course when practicing. For example, head golf coach Jeff Mitchell will put them in different scenarios by throwing their ball behind a tree and make them work around it. Those scenarios can change depending on what course they practice at that day.

Mitchell is also very observant when it comes to which course he will take his players to. If one course layout is similar to a course UNT will play at in a future tournament, then he will try and go to that course multiple times throughout the rotation.

“We have our next tournament at Dallas Athletic Club,” Mitchell said. “One of the things we are trying to do is come to a golf course that is very similar to DAC.”

UNT practiced at Indian Creek Golf Club on Monday because it has a lot of trees and water hazards, similar to DAC, and Mitchell wanted his players to get a better feel for playing on a tight course.

“It helps us because when we get to the tournament we are familiar with that style of play,” Mitchell said. “What you’re trying to do is create a home course feel.”

Kwon believes UNT also has an advantage over other schools that may not have the opportunity to rotate different courses into its practice routine like the team does.

“Other schools may have one course they have access to and they get used to it,” Kwon said. “We get to go to different places and that keeps us on our toes.”

When the players are not on the course playing, Mitchell uses the course’s qualities to assign certain drills and challenges. He said that Trophy Club has some par 5s that require a good lay-up shot – where a player doesn’t hit the ball on the green to set up an easier short shot – so Trophy Club is where he will focus on that aspect the most.

“The putting challenges get a lot more difficult if we go to a course with faster greens,” Kwon said.

Mitchell said that the courses are gracious for letting the team practice with that access. Chris Fink, general manager of Indian Creek Golf Club, is very supportive of UNT coming to his course to practice.

“They are the future of our industry – people who play golf,” Fink said. “Even when they are done playing at the college level, they will continue to support and play the game.”

Feature photo: Senior Taylor Kilponen takes a second shot on the 9th hole of Indian Creek Golf Club. Photo by Jordan Ottaway / Staff Writer

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