North Texas Daily

Women’s golf aims for improvement, consistency in Akers second season

Women’s golf aims for improvement, consistency in Akers second season

CARROLLTON, TX - AUGUST 26: Mean Green women's Golf at Maridoe Country Club in Carrollton on August 26, 2017 in Carrollton, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)

Women’s golf aims for improvement, consistency in Akers second season
March 28
19:25 2018

The North Texas women’s golf team started its season with understandably high expectations. And despite those expectations not yet being met, the team shows no signs of giving up.

Michael Akers, in his second year as head coach, looks to turn this program around which includes focusing on the team’s progress, hoping it leads to more success down the road.

“We’ve come a long, long way, and I feel we’re on track for where I want to get in year three,” Akers said. “For year two, I feel like we’re doing very well. Looking at scoring records for the history of the program, we are approaching areas that have only been hit one or two times, so we’re definitely going in the right direction, but I’m not satisfied at all in terms of where I expect the program to be down the road.”

Akers began his North Texas career in May 2016 knowing he had his work cut out for him. Even though the team had the resources and facilities necessary, they lacked overall structure and discipline.

“Just a lot of changes needed to be made,” Akers said. “It was just a matter of recruiting, redoing the tournament schedule and then revamping the practice schedule and changing the culture of what the expectations [are] and how you achieve them.”

Something apparent for Akers from the start was the team’s potential. He knew that he wanted to break school records and make North Texas the best team in Conference USA. It was just a matter of time.

“I don’t think the women’s [team] has ever won a conference championship, and that is something that is very high on my list—to become the number one team in the conference,” Akers said.

But in order to get ready for the Conference USA Championship that begins April 16, the team wants to do well in the upcoming tournament, the Bruzzy Challenge at the Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, the team’s home course.

“I’m hoping to have a really good tournament this week,” sophomore Lauren Cox said. “It’s our first time hosting, and we have home field advantage, so I would like to place really well there, and then I’d like to improve at conference better than I did last year. We hope that our team wins, and we move on to regionals and hopefully nationals.”

The team has the talent, but they suffer from the lack of depth when it comes to the team’s roster.

North Texas only has five healthy players left which forces them to rely on each other’s play more than other teams. Although golf is a individual sport, Akers has created a team based environment at North Texas to see growth within the players.

“We’re very encouraging of one another during practice and during work outs,” junior Sol Lee said. “Everything is very team oriented. We’re all doing our own thing, but we have a goal set together. We’re always very positive, even when one of us messes up. We’re like, ‘It’s alright. It’s alright. We got it the next time.’”

Apart from depth, another aspect the team struggles with is consistency from tournament to tournament.

“If we play well, we can compete this year for a championship,” Akers said. “We’re not going to be able to make a lot of mistakes, but we do have the talent currently on this roster to compete for the championship. It’s just a matter of everybody playing well at the same time. In one tournament, we had like four of them off in the same day, and for conference we need to have four of them on each day, and we can compete.”

That seems like a large task to fulfill moving forward.  However, for a team with a second-year coach and a thin roster, they believe in their abilities as they attempt to lay the foundation for the future of women’s golf at North Texas.

“I feel like we’re constantly improving, and that we’re certainly moving up,” Lee said. “All of us have shot really good scores. It’s just a matter of time where all of us are in sync, and we shoot the best when everyone else does.”

Featured Image: Courtesy North Texas Athletics/Rick Yeatts

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Simreen Kheraj

Simreen Kheraj

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