Coaching staff for women’s golf is a boon to the team

Dan Martin

Iowa State is home to currently one of the nations top women’s golf programs. It placed first or second in six of their 12 regular season tournaments in 2010-2011 and were ranked as high as No. 11. It placed fourth at the Big 12 Championships, and secured a trip to the NCAA Regionals.

The Cyclones also made it to the NCAA Regionals in the 2009-2010 season, but before that they had a 14-year postseason drought.

A big reason for their recent turnaround is the work of coach Christie Martens. Martens joined the Cyclones in 2003, and in a matter of years built one of the nation’s best teams. Alongside her is assistant coach Pina Gentile, who joined the Cyclones in 2006.

Martens was selected as the Big 12 Coach of The Year earlier this spring.

“I’m really proud of our team and what we have been able to accomplish,” Martens said. “For me, this season [2010-2011] has definitely been the best. The credit goes to the girls, who just go out every day and give it everything they have at practice. Its are really special, I’m really proud to be a part of Iowa State.”

The team practices all around Ames. Most of the time it can be found at Venkeer Golf Course, where it has its own practice area, and performance center to use in bad weather. It also practices at Ames Country Club Golf Course, ColdWater Golf Links and the Bergstrom Indoor Facility next to Jack Trice Stadium.

The team usually travels quite some distance and warmer climates to play in tournaments, but sometimes they compete near Ames. Live scoring and results for their tournaments can be found at

The Cyclones lost two seniors when the 2010-2011 seasons came to an end. Victoria Stefansen and Laurence Herman were both key to the teams improvement during their four years at Iowa State. Stefansen plans to stick around Ames and coach golf, while Herman is heading home to Belgium to compete in the European tour.

The Cyclones will miss the seniors, but should be able to adapt and have another good season. There are some good freshman coming in, as well as great returning players to pick up where they left off.