Forest Park competitive in 2020 golf debut

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Forest Park junior Grace Wendholt watches a putt go Tuesday at Christmas Lake Golf Course against Springs Valley. Wendholt led Forest Park with a score of 58.


SANTA CLAUS — First-year Forest Park girls golf coach Nick Grothouse found himself being proud of his players after they teed off the 2020 season Tuesday at Christmas Lake Golf Course.

The Rangers fielded three players, which wasn’t enough to count a team score against the four golfers Springs Valley had. However, the trio of junior Grace Wendholt and sophomores Grace Haas and Kaitlyn Seffernick kept their scores close — against one another and also compared to the golfers the Blackhawks trotted out.

“I thought they did just fine,” Grothouse said. “I think they are harder on themselves than what they should be. I thought they played well. You can tell they were nervous, but they were coming into their own towards the end.”

Forest Park and Springs Valley played to nine holes. Haas shot a 64, and Seffernick was right behind her with a 65. Wendholt led the way for her team by shooting a 58. She wasn’t far off from being the medalist on the day, with that honor going to Springs Valley sophomore Macy Hall, who shot a 56.

Wendholt is aiming to make her driving straighter during this next week of practice before Forest Park returns to the golf course on Aug. 11 at Christmas Lake against Southridge, and she also likes what she sees from her new coach.

“He’s very positive, and he’s a very good coach,” Wendholt said of Grothouse. “I only have positive things to say about him.”

Grothouse noted how Wendholt’s drive went right multiple times, which never happens for her. He knows she can adjust her own swing, but she has to get rid of the loop she was making; but he added that Wendholt was in good position on the greens at times, and he expects her scores to go down "dramatically" as the year progresses.

The coach likes how well his sophomore golfers are progressing, and he thought Haas and Seffernick did a great job getting scores of 64 and 65, respectively. He hopes their nerves are out of the way now, and Grothouse thinks the two sophomores will score even better against Southridge.

“I am very proud of the way played,” he said. “I think they did a good job, and they did a lot out there that if we can work on a few things, they’ll get those scores hopefully into the fifties next round.”

Forest Park will have today off, but will be back at it to practice Thursday morning at Christmas Lake.

“I think the drives were fine — a little inaccurate, but the distance was there,” Grothouse said. “Their iron shots, when they weren’t in the swampy, watery rough, they weren’t bad. So, it’s more, we got to work around the green. We got to figure how to get the chips closer to the hole, rather than just on the green.”


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