By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The MSU-Northern Skylights golf team might have heard whisperings of Keep the ball in the fairway, Thursday night.
The Skylights golfers opened play Friday at 10 a.m. at the Green Meadow Golf Course in Helena.
Its a pretty difficult course to start out on, said head coach Jessica Peters. Its pretty narrow and there are a lot of out-of-bounds.
The golf team, in its second varsity season, has five golfers. Senior Brooke Barkus of Havre and senior Jami Jackson of Ronan are the veterans on this years team.
Three freshmen, Shanda Lammerding, Julia Hammar and Ristina Johnston, of Havre, Malta and Glasgow, respectively, round out the roster.
These are girls who love to golf, Peters said. They love to be on the course. That dedication will make us better golfers.
To prepare for the opening-season competition, the Skylights have been focusing on hitting lines on the driving range, Peters said. Target practice and keeping the ball on the fairway have also been stressed.
It doesnt have to be the longest or the strongest drive, Peters said. It just has to stay in bounds.
Last year, Northern finished third in the Frontier Conference with a score of 411. However, the Skylights were more than a few putts behind first place Rocky Mountain College, with 350, and Western Montana College with 365, both of whom will compete in Helena.
Additionally, Montana Tech, Carroll College and Lewis-Clark State will partake in the event.
But the highlight of the weekend will come Saturday when the Skylights host the tournament at Beaver Creek Golf Course.
This gives us a chance to win our home tournament early in the season, Peters said. Winning this will give us the confidence we need for the rest of the season. It will set the pace for us.
Peters said a lot of teams underestimate the Havre course because it is only nine holes.
Its a tough course here, Peters said. Youre flirting with water on almost every hole.
There will be a shotgun start with Carroll College nailing the first tee. All tournaments are 18 holes and both tournaments this weekend are Frontier Conference events.
Havres own Lammerding will be the No. 1 golfer for the Skylights. Barkus will shoot No. 2, Jackson No. 3 and Johnston No. 4. New this year, Doug Sheppard, golf pro at Beaver Creek, will assist the Skylights.