Last semester, our Wildcat golf team captured the attention of our campus and the other St.Paul colleges when they won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). However, that is not their only accomplishment in the six short years they have been at St. Kate’s. According to our St. Kate’s athletic page, the golf team has won three tournaments and set over 15 school records. Unfortunately, our golf team is still quite new and some students and faculty are unaware of our team.
In 2011, the golf team at St. Kate’s was founded. Currently, the team has seven players which is small compared to the average of 9-10 players that most teams have. After talking with the head coach Mary Sweeney, she stated that she hopes as the years progress, the team can get up to 10 girls. Sweeney came to St. Kate’s after being an assistant golf coach for Augsburg. Now, Sweeney is in charge of getting more girls to play for St. Kate’s each year. She informed me that she looks to the high schools for girls already playing golf who might be interested in coming to St. Kate’s and joining our team. However, it is also possible for someone to do a tryout with the coaches to join the team as well.
With spring just around the corner, the team is getting ready to visit Phoenix, Arizona over spring break. During the fall season they spend their time competing against Minnesota and Wisconsin teams and preparing for the MIAC. St. Kate’s golf team won the MIAC last semester so they will be preparing for the National Championship this semester. Winning the MIAC granted them the ability to travel and compete against colleges across the country. According to Sweeney, the team is scheduled to go to Illinois in April and Houston, Texas in May for the National Championship.
When the weather isn’t permitting, the team is forced to use the Butler Center for practicing. In the gym, there is a net upstairs where the players can hit into. However, when it is nicer out, there are a few places in the Metro area that the team uses.
“We have a net upstairs we can hit into or we go to Goodrich Golf Dome in Maplewood,” said Sweeney. “During the actual season, when we can get outside, we go to Midland Hills Country Club which is really nice so we love being out there.”
After winning the MIAC, the golf team has gotten more publicity than it usually does. Usually, sports such as basketball, softball and hockey receive more attention and interest than sports like golf. According to Sweeney, most colleges have a golf team, yet most students don’t know that.
After only six years, St. Kate’s golf team has managed to grow and improve which is exemplified in the golf team winning the MIAC. That win brought a lot of well deserved interest and attention to the team. Hopefully, as the years go by, St. Kate’s golf team will get more supporters and more prospective team members.
“The program and skill level are so different [from Augsburg],” said Sweeney. “These girls are definitely at a higher level.”