A new beginning for Women’s Golf

Featured Image: Women’s Golf team poses with trophy after tournament in Glenside, Pa. Tom Hall | Courtesy

A new era of Women’s Golf has begun under Director of Men’s and Women’s Golf Tom Hall as they enter a period of growth with a complete change of scenery. It has been quite a few years since the last time the Marlins had a full Women’s Golf team, but that may be hard to believe, as they finished runner-up at the Fincastle Intercollegiate competition to start the season.

First-year Mia Skaggs started the competition out hot, leading with the lowest score after day one.

“It is interesting because I wasn’t that nervous the first day, but then I saw I had the best score, and the nerves kind of hit the second day of the competition,” Skaggs said.

With a group of all freshmen, the team has begun to forge their own path. “It hasn’t been too difficult since we all get along and see each other every day. It’s just the five of us figuring it out on our own, and eventually, we will turn into the upperclassmen leaders for the new recruits that Coach Hall brings in,” Skaggs said.

Building team chemistry is a main priority and goal for Skaggs and the rest of the team. “Our main team goal at this point is to continue working together and building each other up, since we are all freshmen and have not experienced this before,” Skaggs said.

Skaggs was unsure about playing golf beyond the high school level until an opportunity presented itself.

“It’s kind of funny because my team was competing at the state competition and Coach Hall was at the competition scouting someone else, and I guess that didn’t end up working out,” Skaggs said. “So he eventually ended up watching me for around 11 of my 18 holes and recruiting me here.”

Skaggs is grateful for Hall’s work in the team. “I really appreciate his dedication and vision for the program, and his organization has been integral to our success,” Skaggs said.

First-year Juliette Coffey shared similar opinions on her new coach.

“It has been nice having a structured schedule. We also have an app we use to track all of our scores and data that have helped us with focusing on what we need to practice,” Coffey said.

With golf being a mentally demanding sport, Coffey shared what goes through her mind during a long and intense competition.

“There are always some nerves on that first tee shot, but it gets better from there. The tough part is planning out your shots for 18 holes, and concentrating for that long is always difficult,” Coffey said. 

Coffey came overseas from England to attend Virginia Wesleyan University and play golf. Coffey’s recruiting situation was a little different compared to Skaggs. She reached out to Coach Hall via e-mail and sent film of her playing.

Hall spoke about his goals for the upcoming season.

“As the year goes on, we want to be more and more competitive and would certainly like to win an event and finish in the top three in our conference,” Hall said.

Coach Hall emphasized the fact that this season is a learning experience, but this is the best group of girls to be on the journey with.

“We’ve been really lucky because the five women we brought in are fantastic people, and they’ve gelled together fairly quickly,” Hall said. “They are all hard workers and great students so it has not been difficult to motivate them.”

Hall is ecstatic with the direction the program is heading, and recreating the Women’s Golf team has been great for the golf program as a whole.

When asked what he is looking forward to the most this season, Hall said, “Watching our men’s and women’s programs coming together has been and will continue to be exciting to watch. I am also looking forward to the social aspects that the ladies have brought to the program.”

The women and men play again Oct. 9-10 at the Knights Fall Invitational hosted by Southern Virginia University in Lexington, Va.

By: Coy Camiscioli