The Great Outdoors


Our 1st week is in the books. First of all, Gretchen Spenn has shown over the last couple weeks that she deserves a spot on this year’s Bishop Luers golf team. Welcome to the team, Gretchen! We’ll still be choosing one more girl to complete our final 2016 roster sometime this week.

We opened with playing three of the most difficult courses in NE Indiana! In the first tourney, we shot 457 at brutal Chestnut Hills in the Homestead tournament.  Senior Katie Leja led us with 92, with a 48-44 nine-hole totals. Madeleine Pape, a tournament seasoned Freshman, also shot in the nineties (99), and Sophomore Caroline Rahrig shot a solid 130 in her first golf competition ever. Those girls plus Caroline Gladding and Lydia Reimbold led our young Lady Knights to an impressive first 457 total. I didn’t even realize that this year’s 457 total beat last years total by 20 strokes. Katie had our only Birdie of the day.
We had a solid veteran team last season, starting 4 seniors and Katie Leja. This year we started one senior, 2 sophomores and 2 freshman girls.

Then we played Cedar Creek at Leo, where every green looks like 2 elephants were buried under each one of them! Madeleine Pape and Katie Leja led the way again with 100 and 102 respectively. Junior Emily Shimer shot a good opening round 113.  Lexy Turpchinoff overcame a case of the nerves early on, with a Par 3 on her 4th hole, and then settled down to fashion a nice opening 120 for our team. Her tee shot on that par 3 was a couple inches from a hole-in-one before settling a few feet past the pin. Her birdie putt rimmed the cup. Caroline Gladding shot a steady 133 to round out the scoring. Our team total was 435, and so our team was 22 strokes better than at Chestnut Hills on Monday, and 12 strokes lower than our 2015 team at Cedar Creek. We did struggle mightily on those monster sloped greens, though we only had one “10” on a hole all day out of 90 total holes. We had a bunch of 10’s on the scorecard at Chestnut Hills on Monday, so this round was an improvement in that regard. The bad news is that we only had 4 pars all day. Lexy had 2 of them.

Noble Hawk was next, which is probably my favorite course in NE Indiana. Its beauty is unbelievable! Their #18 is my favorite hole. The ultimate “Risk-Reward” type hole, with absolutely breathtaking beauty! Freshman Madeleine Pape shot a career low 88 to lead the way for the Bishop Luers Knights. Her 41 on the front 9 was also her personal best. Those summer Parks and Rec tournaments really paid off! Katie Leja shot her second 92 this week with only 35 putts, which is one under par (36) for 18 holes. Madeleine had just only 31 putts in her round, which is incredible. These are the first Putting scores this season that were under 40 putts. Putting improvement will be a special point of emphasis going forward. Anyway, Emily improved her Leo score by 5 strokes for a 108. Caroline Rahrig improved on her Homestead round by a whopping 12 strokes, firing an excellent 118 at Noble Hawk. Junior Jackie Savio rounded out the day with a 125 in her first competition this summer.

Luers’ top 4 golfers in this tourney kept the “10s” at bay on all of their scorecards. Our entire team had only three. And with only one “10” at Leo, that shows me that our girls never give up, regardless how badly a hole is going out there! Mental toughness is so important in golf. And it looks like some of our kids may have it. Hole #13 is the toughest Par 5 that I’ve ever played. There’s not enough paper to totally describe this Par 5. Just suffice to say that there is “out of bounds” and penalty strokes lurking with each and every shot! The first time that I ever played that hole, I had to make a 40-foot putt for an 8! Caroline Rahrig and Katie actually parred that hole! The other 3 girls only took a bogey 6. That’s way better than the average score for hole #13. As a team, we were only 3 over par. I’ve never had a team do that well. In the past, I do believe we usually average two or three 10’s on hole #13, with an 8 or 9 mixed in. Overall, Katie led us with 3 pars, and Madi, Emily and Caroline had 2 each.

But none of those girls had the highlight of the day, for our team…and probably for the entire tournament. That belongs to Jackie Savio. On the Par 4 seventh hole, another of the many risk-reward thinking type holes, Jackie had something I don’t think she’ll ever forget. After a pretty good drive, she hit an 8-iron from about 115 yards dead straight at the hole. It rolled onto the green, and headed towards the hole. I was back at the tee, and Coach Alex Eagleson was up at the green. Then Alex let out a loud scream. The ball softly dropped right in the hole! An EAGLE 2! She was pretty darn excited! Heck, we all were! And word got around the course pretty fast too. That’s the shot of the year, so far. And it would take a pretty darn good shot to beat it, or even match it this year! CONGRATS JACKIE!

Overall, our team shot a 406 for the day, and that’s an impressive 28 strokes better than our 2015 score. Plus it’s an amazing 51 shots better than our Homestead Invitational earlier this week. Congrats ladies! And now it’s back to basics this week at practice. It was great to have Coach Shimer and Coach Eagleson there with me helping the girls.