Girls golf rebuilding with young team

By Ron Burtz

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Custer High School girls golf coach Haley Uphoff is glad about one thing as she begins her second year of coaching—her team has grown by more than four times. Last season Uphoff had just two golfers on her team—Kassidy Adam, who graduated last spring, and Rachel Jensen. This season, however, she has a total of nine girls on the squad.

Jensen, who has lettered in golf two years and just missed qualifying for the state meet last year as a sophomore, is back for her junior year and has been joined by seventh graders Abby Studt, Maddie Meyer, Lauryn Robb and Taylee Schramm. The sixth-graders on the team are Shauna Zacher, Julianna Uphoff, Jordyn Uphoff and Quinn Lewison. 

“I knew taking the job last year it was going to be a rebuilding process,” said Uphoff, “so I’m excited to have this much interest.” 

“It’s really a 7-12 program,” she says, “so the sixth graders will just practice with us and they’ll be able to play in some of our home meets.”

Uphoff says because of Jensen’s past performance she looks for her to qualify for the state tournament this year, and she has high hopes for the rest of her young team as well.

“I have good athletes,” she said. “I’m excited to see how much they grow and where they go from here.”

Monday, March 8 was the first time the team was able to actually hit the links at Rocky Knolls but Uphoff says the team had already been working for two weeks in the indoor practice area above Carson Drug downtown. 

“We’re actually very lucky to have the setup we have in Carson Drug,” said Uphoff. “We can actually get some swings in. We usually spend a couple of weeks at the beginning of the season indoors. That’s pretty typical for every school around our region.”

“With a young group, getting some things down—the little things—before we could get outside was really good for them actually,” said Uphoff, who remembers practicing in the same location several years ago when she was a golfer on the Custer team. 

The team’s first meet was supposed to be at home for the Custer Quad on April 11, but that was canceled because of the snow storm. Thursday they are scheduled to travel to the Belle Fourche Invitational which is a pre-region meet.  

“We host region this year so that’s exciting,” said Uphoff. “It’s always fun to have that on your home course.”

“I’m excited to have the girls that I have and I think they’ll be a great team to watch going forward,” concluded Uphoff.