The 2009 Baldwin-Wallace College women’s spring golf team is looking to improve on its 2008 fall season and build on a third-place finish at last year’s Ohio Athletic Conference Championship Tournament.The Yellow Jackets are led by Head Coach Sean Strickland, who is in his first season as women’s golf coach and assistant women’s basketball coach.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thanks Ladies!!

It’s been a couple of weeks since our year ended and I finally have a chance to sit down and recap our year a little bit. It has been an exciting year in which we are rebuilding the program to get back to the days when BW was one of the better golf teams in the nation. Our captain, Lydia Cole, was named All-OAC and received BW’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year award. We competed in the most tournaments BW has competed in since the 2003-04 season when the team was ranked #25 in the nation coming into the season. On top of that, and just as important, the team has formed special friendships that will last a lifetime : ) It has been a very fun year and has me very excited about what is to come for the future of women’s golf at Baldwin-Wallace!

First, I have to recap our OAC Conference Championship tournament. Our goal at OAC’s was to finish 3rd as a team. The top 2 teams, Otterbein and Ohio Northern, were in the top 20 in the nation so no one was catching them this year (notice I said this year!). So our goal was to be the best of the rest and finish 3rd in the conference. The great thing about setting that goal is the whole team completely bought into it and it was the big motivating force of our spring season.

Unfortunately we did not reach that goal. However, what I liked the best about how the team handled not reaching our goal was that they didn’t make any excuses. We lost our overall #3 and #4 best scorers for the year due to injury and early graduation. We also had a rough weekend at OAC’s where not everyone had the type of rounds they thought they should have. But yet there was never an excuse made. They just kept fighting through the adversity and really believed they could still reach their goal.

Sometimes when you go through a season you are so caught up in it that you don’t take time to realize what all is happening. That’s why it’s great to have an end of the year get-together or dinner to kind of wrap everything up. We did that as a team as we had a team dinner at Macaroni Grill. It was so great to look around and see just how much this team really got along. They laughed and shared stories of the season and had a great time together. The underclassmen even got the seniors some gifts which was really nice. From the words expressed to each other, and just the overall feeling of the night, it was very apparent that this team had grown very close as a team.

Honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of our team for all they accomplished and how far they have brought the program in just one short year. Our biggest thing to do this year was to change the culture of women’s collegiate golf at BW. We weren’t as concerned with how we did golfing this year because we had so much adversity to overcome, but we did want to change the overall culture inside the golf program. We needed to be more disciplined; more committed; and take more pride in being a golfer on the BW women’s golf team! These ladies not only reached that goal, but they exceeded it. They have laid a GREAT foundation for the future of the program which is so very important!

Less than 10 years ago the team was back to back conference champs and finished in the top 10 in the nation. It’s our goal to get the program back to that point! The ladies this year have taken care of changing the culture inside the program, which I think was a HUGE part in the fact we were able to recruit a very good freshmen class. The team worked very hard at making sure that recruits saw what they were all about and where we were headed as a golf program. I expect this momentum in recruiting to continue as we head into recruiting another very good class with 2010 graduates! The future looks VERY bright for the golf program here at BW!

Thanks for a GREAT year ladies!! As the BW women’s golf program continues to grow and improve, I want you to be able to look back at this year and see what a huge difference you all have made to make the program better. You should take great pride in the fact you did the hardest part of building a program, which is to lay the foundation for success. It might not have shown up in our win-loss record, or where we finished at OAC’s, but it will show up in the future success of the program. And you all were a BIG part of the reason that BW women’s golf will be back on top! Thanks Ladies….you are the best!!

Coach Strickland