Women’s golf prepares for travel, season in spring semester

Mark Schafer

Traveling is a big component of most collegiate sports.

For the ISU women’s golf team, travel will remain one of the biggest challenges as it gears up for the spring season that starts Feb. 12 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Our semester will be a lot like last semester with us traveling from one tournament to another,” said coach Christie Martens. “We have breaks in our schedule, which will allow us to adjust on things. But for the most part, once we get started, we don’t stop.”

Even during the longest break of the year, a three-month break that lasts from the end of October to the start of February, the team still practiced and had areas to work on, Martens said.

“The nice thing about our long winter break is that it gives us time to slow down and work on a more individual level,” Martens said. “We can use this period to work on everyone’s skills so they will be ready to continue to improve on those in the spring.”

The team took a break during the official college holiday closure to focus on going home for the holiday season. Because of that, some team members had to add more travels to their already full travel arrangements for the spring semester, Martens said.

“All of our players had an opportunity to go home when classes weren’t in session,” Martens said. “So they all went back home, which was farther for some than others.”

Four of the students — junior Punpaka Phuntumabamrung, sophomores Prima Thammaraks and Sasikarn On-iam and freshman Chonlada Chayanun — all hail from Thailand and went home for break.

“The team was able to go home for the break and that means flying back home [to Thailand] for most of us,” Thammaraks said. “We spent some time with our families and came back to Ames for school.”

Other members of the team had only a short drive back home, but that still means more traveling for the team even if they aren’t thinking about it, said senior Kristin Paulson, whose hometown is Ottumwa, Iowa.

“I didn’t fly home, but I know some of the team did,” Paulson said. “It is another week of travel, but since our spring season doesn’t start until later. I don’t think it hurts anyone.”

Martens said the team will continue to practice in preparation for the first tournament of the semester.

“We still have time left to work on some things and shake out those post-break cobwebs,” Martens said. “At least we are staying in Ames before we start traveling, which makes it easier to prepare for the upcoming season.”