Baker golf teams prepare for fall season

Story by Kyle Davis

For head golf coach Karen Exon, the fall golf season reminds her more of the holiday season.

“It’s a lot like Christmas, like opening up packages and seeing what’s inside,” she said. “Whether they’re returners or whether they’re new people, the returners have changed so much from when I saw them last, and we hope it’s for the better. For the newcomers it’s just exciting to see what we really have.”

The men’s team will play in four tournaments in the fall, two being two-day 36-hole tournaments and two being two-day 54-hole tournaments.

The Baker men start out by taking the top 10 qualifying players to Fulton, Mo. at the William Woods Invitational this Monday and Tuesday. The team will also play at the Lindenwood Invitational at Crescent Farms Golf Club in Eureka, Mo.

Exon said last year 19 of the top finishers from the previous year’s national tournament were at the Lindenwood Invitational and she expects a similar group to attend this year.

“It feels good to get back out there and it definitely prepares you to get you back in the attitude and mindset of tournament play and it’ll prepare us a lot for the spring season,” sophomore Alex Bulk said.

The Baker women’s team will not play in its first tournament until Sept. 21 and 22 at the South Central Kansas Fall Invitational hosted by Southwestern College.

The team will play one less fall tournament than what the men play, but Exon said more than likely the women will play an additional tournament in the spring to balance the teams out. All three of the women’s tournaments are two-day 36-hole competitions.

The men lost five seniors this season, last year’s co-captains Adam Gotsche and P.J. Matulka along with Dan Conway, Chase Day and Tanner Christenson, while the women lost senior co-captains Melissa Brown and Alicia Kortz.

Exon said that she tries not to make many big changes to any player’s golf game in the fall because they played so much during the summer and instead waits until after the fall season so the player has the midseason to make the change and not have it affect his or her play.

“We’ll work on basics, we’ll work a lot on golf course management and we’ll tweak short games (in the fall),” Exon said.

A big part of the fall season is getting familiar with the courses and being able to compete against other HAAC teams or teams that Baker will face in the spring before that time comes.

“I know that as an upperclassmen we’ve seen some of these golf courses a couple of times because we play the same invitationals so I think it will be important for us to relay the information we have about the golf course to these freshman so we can help them score better,” senior Amelia Harshfield said.