The Idaho State women’s golf team has a new mindset, one that lead to one of the best fall seasons in years and could lead to a record-setting spring season.
Along with a new practice structure, first-year head coach Dalen Atkins has turned the women’s golf program around through his what, not why mindset. Instead of worrying about why a bad shot was hit, Adkins preaches to his team of ten to focus on what can be done on the next shot. The new mindset has led to increased scores, better team unity and the potential to rewrite the record books when the team begins its spring season in March.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve really wanted to go out and get better,” said junior Abby Kadrmas. “It’s a lot more enjoyable when you are playing well.”
This season, Idaho State played four fall tournaments, compared to last year’s two, allowing the confidence to build over the two-month long season.
“I was getting frustrated because I wasn’t getting better because I didn’t know how to,” said senior Kylie Martens. “[Atkins] is giving us the ability to get better mentally, but also physically on the golf course to know what we’re doing with our swings.”
Marten’s score at the Rose City Coalgate Golf Tournament was the third best in program history.
During that same tournament, Kadrmas shot an 81 in the final round to finish with a score of 242. Hadley Hersh shot two-sub 80 rounds while Brooke Williams shot an 82 in round three to finish with a score of 247 and Katrina Weil shot two sub-90 rounds to finish at 267.
Kadrmas said how she wished her fall season could have gone better, which was met with praise from her coach, saying how it was a good thing that some of the players were getting frustrated over scores in the 80s, which he said is a good score for any collegiate golfer.
“They know they can shoot low-70s,” Atkins said.
Despite the correlation of Atkins’ arrival and the sudden, new-found success the team has encountered, the coach insists that all the credits goes to his players who have implemented his way of golf into their play.
“They’re the ones on the golf course,” he said. “It’s their mindset, it’s all about them.”
“It’s been helpful having somebody there to help us with the mindsets that we have,” Martens countered. “I hadn’t had that mindset before and I hadn’t had somebody be able to look at my swing and finetune it.”
The team wrapped up its fall season in Tacoma a few weeks ago and will now have to sit and wait for the arrival of the spring season as frigid temperatures, whistling winds and heavy snow is expected to make its annual visit to the Gate City in the coming months.
Atkins said the team as a few select indoor locations where his team can finetune putting and chipping skills and will implement a workout program so the team is ready to go in the spring.
“I feel like we are already two steps forward going into the spring season,” Hersh, a sophomore said. “I feel like we are already ready for Conference to come up even though its over six months away.”
Idaho State will begin its spring season March 5 with the Battle at Boulder Creek. The Big Sky Conference Championships are scheduled for April 20 in Boulder City, Nevada.
“They have the potential to do something special in the spring, something that ISU women’s golf hasn’t seen,” Atkins said. “I have faith in them that they will do it. That’s why I’m excited.”