BELDING – Home course advantage helped Belding’s girls golf team.
The Redskins defeated Central Montcalm in a dual match at Ridgeview Golf Course 208-245 Tuesday.
Belding is used to the hills at Ridgeview since it’s their home course. So when an opponent gets to Ridgeview they have to make adjustments, noted Central coach Gary Buchholz.
“Playing uphill, most people don’t realize they have to hit it harder and that’s something they (Central Montcalm) haven’t learned,” he said.
Still, Buchholz thinks the experience made a difference in his young team.
“I think any time you play and you experience different things it will help you,” he said. “So I do think it helps to play there.”
Belding coach Doug Anderson was happy with the scores his team posted – somewhat.
“Two hundred eight is a little higher than we’d like to see our girls,” he said. “Some girls got in trouble in the bunkers.”
The top shooter was Redskin Arianna Leppink. The newly-crowned Miss Belding shot a 42, which would be seven over par from the men’s tees, Anderson said.
“Arianna had a phenomenal round,” he said. “She just hit it more solidly. If she continues to work on her putting she could have a great regional. She put everything together.”
Leppink was followed by freshman Alyviah Mason with a 52.
“I think Alyviah played golf in her youth so she’s always played a little bit,” Anderson said. “She’s also very athletic and we all know that helps in any sport you play, including golf. We’re extremely encouraged to have her for the next three years.”
MaryRose Jakeway and Taylor Reeves rounded out Belding’s scoring with a 57 each.
The Green Hornets’ top scorer was Tawny Graves with a 53.
“Her average has been about 60,” Buchholz said of Graves. “When she first started she shot in the 70s. She’s shooting where she should be.”
Kyla Bratty added a 62 as did Sophie Villet and Samantha Kirk shot a 68.
Belding’s next match will be back at Ridgeview on Thursday when the Redskins host Saranac, Comstock Park and Cedar Springs in a scramble. It’s their last regular-season match before regionals.
“The short game is always going to make or break you,” Anderson said. “We’re going to put 80 percent emphasis on that and 20 percent in the long game. We’ll work on the short game and see where that takes us.”
Central will scrimmage Lakeview Thursday, then play at Holland Lake Golf Course Monday against Ithaca.