It’s all in your head

Jenna Sharp tees it up for the ISU women’s golf team.

Golf is a unique sport. Compared to more traditional athletics it is slower paced and is less team-oriented. Don’t think for a second, though, that it is less challenging because that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just ask Jenna Sharp, a sophomore at Idaho State University.
For Sharp, golf is a game of discipline and rhythm.
“It’s mental, it’s all mental. If you start out with a good hole your mental game is going to be good, but if you start out with a couple of bad holes it’s hard to stay positive and if you aren’t positive it just gets harder and harder,” said Sharp.
That discipline doesn’t just show up on the course, but also in her life as well.
“Other than doing golf, I’m also a resident assistant on campus. It’s taught me to really manage my time,” said Sharp.
Last season, Idaho State didn’t have a senior on its golf roster, but this year the team has three. Having a roster with experience should really help this team.
Sharp is a prime example; when she started playing college golf she said that one of the biggest challenges was staying positive. Because golf is so much about mentality the scorecard often reflects what’s going on in a player’s head.
But Sharp and her coaches have worked on improving that aspect of her game since she arrived on campus.
“I set a goal of being more positive with myself when I’m playing golf. I’m doing way better about it than I did in high school,” said Sharp. “At first I did really bad, but my coaches have really help me overcome.”
Moving from the high school ranks to college is a big adjustment for any athlete, but especially in sports that have low participation like golf. Suddenly a player goes from easily being the best on the course to having stiff competition at every tournament.
“[The competition] is kind of a love-hate relationship. You really like it because you really like to be around a lot of girls that just love to play golf, whereas in high school a lot of girls played because they had to,” said Sharp.
Ask Sharp why she loves golf and you’ll get several reasons.
“It’s really relaxing and it’s challenging. It’s a really challenging sport – the mental aspect and even the physical exertion,” said Sharp. Some of that relaxation, though, leaves during a tournament setting.
“It’s not really relaxing when you’re in a tournament setting because you’re with the team. It’s a lot of pressure. [But] it’s [still] more exciting and fun in college,” said Sharp.
Sharp has some sound advice for anyone considering playing a college sport.
“Focus on your education first. Without your education you just won’t make it. Focus on your education first and enjoy your sport. If you don’t enjoy your sport you’re not going to have fun in college because it takes up so much of your time. It’s just not going to be worth it,” said Sharp.
The women’s golf team finished their fall season at the Cal Poly Invitational. Sharp finished in last for the Bengals with a score of 187 but ninety-ninth overall. Annie Norman came in first for the Bengals with a two-round score of 176. As a team, the women finished seventeenth overall with a score of 716.
Julia DiGiallonardo tied for seventy-sixth with a two-round total of 178. DiGiallonardo led the Bengals on the first day with a score of 86. Courtney Smith, following DiGiallonardo, tied for nintieth place with a two-round total of 182. Chloe Foster finished ninety-seventh.
Gonzaga University won the team competition with a two-round total of 609. Northern Arizona’s Savana Bezdicek won the individual competition with a score of 146.
The women’s golf team will return for the spring season on Feb. 12 against Northern Arizona.

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