It's going to be a season of fundamentals, lowering averages and swinging consistently for Tracy Gustafson and the Jamestown girls golf team.
And it will all begin on Monday, August 5 at the team's first practice
During the 2018 season, golf head coach Gustafson said the Jays generally placed fifth through seventh at tournaments and added she is looking for more consistency from her team. The Jays finished sixth in the West Region last season but finished 10th in Class A. With her top five golfers returning, Gustafson said she is hoping to break the 85-80 mark at each tournament.
"There's a lot of good players on the west side," Gustafson said. "We just have to see what we can bring each tournament and hopefully what we bring is enough to get our scores low enough and place in that top-five consistently. I know (the girls) have goals for themselves to do that as well."
On Friday, August, 9 the newly formed golf team will head to Dunseith to compete at the TMCHS invitational. Gustafson said there are blind shots, hazards and plenty of trees that make the 9-hole course challenging but added she expects her team to use one of their strengths -- smart club selection.It's a skill Gustafson has "drilled into them," and one that will serve the Jays on Friday and Monday, August, 12 when the Jays host the East-West Classic at Hillcrest Golf Course. Though originally scheduled to host at the Jamestown Country Club, Gustafson said the change in location due to renovations at the Club is being seen as a positive one.
"I know the girls are excited to be at Hillcrest -- (for) a few of them it's their home course so I think they're excited to take advantage of that a little bit," Gustafson said. "I drove around the course (Thursday) with our athletic director and for the most part, it's looking pretty good (and) I am excited to be at a different course, it's always nice to switch it up."
A switch in location is not the only change Gustafson is facing this season.
A roster previously capped at 11 has grown to 16 golfers ranging in age, skill and ability. Gustafson acknowledged coaching novice and experienced golfers at the same time pose challenges but she is grateful to have her top-five players to assist and mentor the younger golfers so the entire team can have a successful season.
"I am definitely excited to have our -- core group of girls back," Gustafson said. "They're fun to be around, they enjoy being out there, you can see they're passionate about what they are doing which is fun to see but they also have that drive where they want to better themselves."