Girls Golf Team Feature

Kathy Wong, Staff Writer

The Arcadia High School (AHS) Varsity Girls Golf team recently won the CIF Division 1 Championship and reached a huge milestone as a team. Sophomore Zoe Sprecher, Senior Qiman Hu, and Senior Erica Lee shared their personal experiences and how they feel as part of the team.

When asked about their weekly schedule and practice days, the girls all agreed that they have a pretty flexible schedule and that Coach Greep allows them to take days off if needed. 

Senior and Team Captain Qiman Hu explained, “We actually have a pretty relaxed practice schedule. Our coach is very flexible with allowing us to practice on our own because a lot of us have our own professional golf coaches outside of school. A lot of us want to work on different things; some people want to play, some people want to work on their short game.” 

“Every day is pretty much practice at either Santa Anita or Par 3. We don’t really follow a specific schedule since everyone has a lot of homework to do,” Sprecher added.

The girls all have unique golf journeys on how they first got interested in this sport before trying out and joining the team. 

“I became very interested in the sport when I played in my very first tournament and when I was about 9 years old. After that day, I became very [fascinated] and motivated to improve in my games so that I can be the best golfer possible,” mentioned Sprecher.  

“I got interested in this sport because I’ve always been a very athletic person, I’ve tried basically every sport there is but golf just seemed to be the one that stuck with me and that I had like more talent for,” Hu explained. 

“I started golf when I think I was about 5 or 6 years old and then I started playing competitively at 8 years old and I got started because my dad is really interested in golf,” Lee stated.

Golf is a sport that is often looked down on compared to other sports and has many misconceptions associated with it. The golf players talked about why they think people often neglect golf and why it’s underrated. 

Sprecher said, “I think that golf deserves more recognition because in a way it’s not only a serious sport where everyone is focused on constantly improving their game, but it is also a sport where you can just go out and have fun with your friendsthat’s the beauty of it.” 

Hu clarified, “I think some common misconceptions about golf are that it’s easy, or that people get caught up about the idea of mini golf and that golf is just mini golf. That’s not true. Mini golf is just putting, which is just a small part of it.” 

Similarly, Lee added, “I think it does need more recognition but golf is getting pretty popular recently so I think we’re on the right track.” 

Being on the golf team, the three girls have constantly been challenged to get out of their comfort zones, resulting in them becoming better teammates and further developing their skills. 

Sprecher stated, “In my opinion, being on the golf team really brings out the other side of me because normally I would be very serious and take practice very seriously. I learned that it’s not only about stressing out about fixing your swing or tweeting your putting, but it is also about how to enjoy practice, how to not be hard on yourself, and how to like to accept bad shots.” 

“Personally for me, I’ve never been on the golf team like this before. Before I’ve only played individually, I actually transferred to Arcadia junior year and that was when I joined the golf team. It’s pushed me out of my comfort zone because if you’re not on the team it’s a very individual sport, during tournaments it’s you versus everyone else,” commented Hu. 

“I think it’s learning to accept when I’m not able to perform my best, that my teammates are always gonna be there for me. It’s something that I’ve never experienced before and it’s really pushed me out of my comfort zone, being able to not have my emotions get the best of me when I play badly and to be able to support my teammates when they play well,” Lee said. 

Every sports team faces challenges, whether it’s as a team or as a member of the team. While this may look different for every sports team, there is no doubt an obstacle in every team.  The golf team is not an exception to these challenges, and the girls all have similar yet different responses. Lee replied, “I don’t think we experience any challenges, maybe out on the course but if we have a bad day, we just try to forget about it, and not affect us for the next League match. I think that’s about it, we never really have anything between us, we have pretty good team camaraderie.” 

All the girls learned the importance of teamwork and had many valuable lessons learned after being on the team. 

Sprecher explained, “I learned that golf is not only an individual sport, but it is also a team sport which means that even though I may not have the best of my game, I still know that my team is still there to support me no matter what.” 

Hu stated, “If I have a bad day, I know that I still have five other girls that I can rely on. So my biggest takeaway from my team is probably that it’s okay to have bad days because someone always has your back.” 

Lee said, “I think golf is an independent sport, and just being on the team I learned how to be a team player and I got the experience of being a captain.

The golf course is usually fairly simple and straightforward in most matches, but on a few occasions, everyone is having a hard time and unsure what to do. To overcome this, Hu described, “But to overcome these challenges, you really have to make the best of a bad situation. If you know the course is hard, you can kind of alter your expectations of yourself and maybe that’ll help shift your mindset and your mood to do better.” 

Sprecher further added, “Some of the challenges we face is that sometimes one of our team members will have a bad day and sometimes you just have to deal with it. At the same time, you just have to know that okay you can just practice harder and there’s always the next time.”