Women’s golf anxious for season opener

Iowa State women’s golf head coach Christie Martens (left) discusses a chipping drill with then-junior Taglao Jeeravivitaporn (right). Martens has led 21 different Cyclones to 46 All-Big 12 honors throughout her coaching career at Iowa State.

Spencer Schultz

As the Iowa State women’s golf team prepares for the season ahead, the expectations remain the same.

The women will look to make it Iowa State’s 12th consecutive NCAA Regionals appearance, as they haven’t missed since 2009. The Cyclones open up the season Monday in the 16-team Wolverine Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Get better every day is always my message to the team,” Iowa State head coach Christie Martens said.

Martens enters her 17th year as head coach of the women’s golf program in Ames, taking over back in 2005. After a successful golf career at Iowa State, Martens has helped turn the Cyclones into a consistent national threat.

Despite the success, there are always improvements to be made.

Martens mentioned before the season gets underway, they are always working on improving their short game. Working on course management and getting creative are two more areas the women can continue to improve in.

More specifically, knowing when to attack and when to be conservative on the course. Playing the right balance in that aggression for the Cyclones this season could prove to be a difference-maker in their season’s results. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Martens referenced a few particular events and golfers that she’s looking forward to.

“Windy City is a great event that possesses a great field and Stanford is the other one that I am really looking forward to,” Martens said.

The team gets talented sophomore Charley Jacobs, the Australian native back from injury whom Martens said has looked healthy and back to herself in rehab.

Jacobs possesses the second-best single round in Iowa State history, as she shot a 65 in the 2021 Heroes Ladies Intercollegiate last season. Martens is intrigued as well by how far junior Taglao Jeeravivitaporn can take the team. 

Jeeravivitaporn enters the season eager to continue to improve and showcase her talents. As Martens reiterated, the junior wants to get better every day. Those improvements are important for her future professional golf aspirations. 

“I want to get All-American honors and help lead my team to win tournaments,” Jeeravivitaporn said.

While earning Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 honors last season, Jeeravivitaporn was also ranked No. 180 in the country by Golfweek. She is fourth in Iowa State women’s history in career stroke average (74.28), with an opportunity to perhaps move up in the record books. Her 73.00 stroke average in the 2019-2020 season is the 3rd-best single-season performance in Cyclone history. 

Iowa State’s high expectations have a lot to do with Liyana Durisic. Her 73.05 stroke average is the best in school history through the first two seasons of her career. Those two seasons are the second and fifth-best seasons at Iowa State. Elsewhere, Iowa State expects significant contributions from the rest of its golfers in transfer Warda Amira Rawof, Ruby Chou, Ellie Braksiek, and June Song. 

Coach Martens realizes expectations are just talk, and they still have to go out there and get the job done.

“We need to remain supportive of one another and cheer for each other’s success through the challenges of the season,” Martens said.