Starting in the fall of 2012, Texas Wesleyan added a women’s golf team to its athletic program for the first time in history.
Kevin Millikan, the coach for the women’s golf team, said he expects the woman’s team to improve even more in the spring semester than they did in the fall. Millikan said because the team was new last semester, the team had to get acquainted and also had learn each others’ techniques as well.
“I think our goal is now, that we’re comfortable and we know what’s expected, is to just make incremental improvements,” Millikan said.
Jessica Liptak, freshman mass communication major and women’s golfer, said it is great to see all the players on the course together.
“It’s kind of everyone’s first time to be playing college golf,” Liptak said. “So it’s exciting to see just everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Liptak said the team works together well. Every team member is different and will use their individual strengths to help the team.
Alexis Belton, sophomore mass communication major and women’s golfer, said she had a knee injury for the majority of the fall season and was only able to play in one tournament.
“I think the best part about going on a tournament is the practice round and being able to bond with the teammates and all,” Belton said. “And it’s a great experience to be out there with Texas Wesleyan for the first time.”
Belton said the team members have become so close that if a golfer does not qualify for the tournament, she will usually support the teammates who did qualify.
Millikan, who has never coached a women’s team before, said coaching women was a new experience. Millikan said the women are more apt to do team bonding, whereas the men’s golf team usually practices alone.
“I found that the girls are very open to instruction, and to suggestion about the game and about learning the game,” Millikan said.
Millikan said he was disappointed that the size of the team shrank from 11 in the fall semester to eight in the spring semester.
“I like having a little bit larger team because of the competition within the squad.; so that the players know that they’ve got to earn a spot, and that it’s not it’s not just a grantee that they’re going to a tournament,” Millikan said. “It makes them work a little bit harder.”
Millikan said practice officially started Jan. 22, and the first tournament will take place Feb. 17-18 in Victoria, Texas.
“I just want to definitely play in a couple of the tournaments because Alexis is in now, and its more competitive,” Liptak said. “I have to compete for my spot.”
Belton said her goal for this semester is to get better with her putts and hitting the fairways.
“I would like to achieve at least placing in the top 10 or top five in a least a tournament,” Belton said. “And being able to qualify for nationals as a team and individually.”
Millikan said coaching the women’s golf team has been very rewarding.
“They work hard. They want to be successful. And I just find a certain level of enthusiasm on my end,” Millikan said.