KOKOMO, Ind. — Coach David Hancock’s favorite memory of his team’s inaugural fall season happened in practice, rather than at a tournament.
As the session ended, he noticed the whole team waiting for him, crowded around Bailey Troutman, watching his face as she excitedly told him she made a hole in one.
“It was a great team moment,” said Hancock. “It was cool to see them celebrating together.”
During the Indiana University Kokomo golf team’s first fall season, his goal was for the student athletes to learn the collegiate game. With that competition behind them, the team is conditioning and preparing for its spring 2016 season.
Hancock said competitors complimented the Cougars on their putting skills throughout the season. He expects the conditioning will help the golfers increase strength and improve the distance of their drives for the spring season.
Overall, he was pleased by the team dynamic forged during the fall season, and through playing in challenging weather conditions, which included rain and high winds for nine of the 10 tournaments.
“I’m proud of the way they always battled through and stayed mentally sharp, through strange inclement weather, and tournaments that lasted seven hours,” he said.
Despite the weather, Hancock said each team appeared better with each tournament. The women’s team finished the cold and windy Red Hawk Fall Classic, hosted by Martin Methodist University at Canebrake Golf Club, Athens, Alabama, with a two-day team score of 709.
IU Kokomo Sophomore Lela Crawford (Tipton/Tipton HS) achieved an all-season low score of 83 on the first day of the Red Hawk tournament, bringing her season average to par to +15.8.
The men’s team was at their best during the KIAC Conference Preview at Cherry Blossom Golf Course, finishing with a two-day total of 666. Senior Ben Constable (Kokomo/Western HS) achieved the team’s lowest score in the two-day tournament with a 161.
Freshman Austin Welch (Westfield/Westfield HS) achieved the same low score to par at both the Indiana University East Fall Tee Off and the Oakland City University Country Oaks Invitational.
Although the team did not win any tournaments, they grew closer by getting to know one another.
“I really enjoyed this golf season,” Crawford said. “My favorite part of the season was getting to know my teammates and coach. I am very proud of my team for overcoming all of the rain this season has brought us. It rained at every match except for one and our teams rallied through.”
“I would say that our season went really well for the most part,” Troutman (Anderson/homeschool) said. “We are a brand new program, and with that, we have all grown together and experienced collegiate golf in tournaments and practices.”
For more information about IU Kokomo’s athletic programs, go to iukcougars.com
Story written by Kaitlin Fallowfield. Kaitlin is an intern in the Office of Media & Marketing.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.