Women golfers to tee off in Arizona

Chris Rambo and Chris Rambo

At this moment, the Bowling Green women’s golf team is in the Arizona desert where, this afternoon, they will tee up for the first time since October when they take part in the Rio Grande Invitational.

The Falcons flew to The Grand Canyon State Wednesday, which gave them a full day Thursday to get acclimated with the golf course, and the feeling of swinging outside again after three months indoors.

The tournament represents a winter retreat of sorts, as women’s golf teams from all over the Midwest have flocked to Arizona to compete in what coach Stephanie Young calls one of the best-run tournaments in the country.

“It has been an absolute treat to take our girls out there for the past five years,” said Young. “Every year there is great competition on a terrific golf course. When you combine that with the surrounding community, it does not get much better.”

The field this week includes: Akron, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Ohio, Toledo, and Western Michigan from the Mid-American Conference, as well as Cincinnati and Xavier. The tournament will be 54 holes, and will be spread through today, Saturday and Sunday. The action will take place on Quail Run Golf Course, a wide open layout that is forgiving off the tee, but features large, friendly greens in addition to strategically placed bunkers and water hazards.

“The course has some rough spots, but overall is pretty manageable,” said junior captain Lauren Glew. “I’ve had some pretty good rounds there in the past, so it will be fun to go back to a place that holds some nice memories for me.”

Besides providing the Falcons with a respite from the winter doldrums, the tournament also offers another unique aspect that makes it doubly appealing to Young and her players. Rio Verde is a retirement community, and as housing during the tournament week; players stay on site with residents who are gracious enough to open their homes. According to Young, players sometimes stay with the same family every year, which allows for the growing of meaningful relationships.

“I think that might be the best feature of this tournament,” Young said. “It is something that both the players and families look forward to every year, and it gives the event a really unique feel.”

Young said that the Falcons’ main goal for the weekend will be to maintain a clearer focus on each and every shot — something she feels they lacked in the fall — and also to have fun and relax; an aspiration that is shared by Marisa Glew.

“I had a pretty lackluster fall semester,” Glew said. “But I feel like the spring is going to be a fresh start for me. I’m just going to try and focus as much as I can on every shot, while at the same time also remembering to have fun and soak in everything around me.”