ND Women’s Golf
Young team and season obstacles lead to struggles for Irish in shortened golf season
Gehrig Smalstig | Friday, May 21, 2021
The Notre Dame women’s golf team didn’t have the year that they wanted, and head coach Susan Holt would be the first one to acknowledge just that.
“It was a tough year, we did not play very well, didn’t play to our ability,” she said.
This sentiment was reflected in the outcomes of their competitions, where the Irish finished in the bottom quarter of five out of their six meets and invitationals on the year.
The Irish Women’s Golf team seemed to be more affected than most by the challenges presented by the pandemic, as multiple occurrences of contact tracing led to some adjustments in who could travel and compete at different points in the year. Additionally, injuries turned out to be a factor as well.
“We got through it. That was about it,” Holt said with a laugh.
Of players that played double-digit rounds, sophomore Lauren Beaudreau led the way on the scorecard, averaging a team-best 74.22 strokes per round and a season-best score of 66, which also led the team. Another impact performer was senior Abby Heck, who had the second-best scoring average at 75.87 strokes per round.
Heck’s impact on the team and the program as a whole was one of the bright spots for the Irish, as Heck has been a mainstay in the lineup since she arrived on campus.
“She had a great career here for her four years,” said Holt. “She started from day one.”
In fact, Heck played in all of the tournaments that the Irish played in since her arrival with the lone exception coming this spring due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
“Academically she was outstanding all the way through as well,” Holt said.
Holt emphasized that Heck’s impact went much further than just on the course. “She’s been a great overall leader from a golf and academic perspective,” she said.
Heck plans to continue her education at medical school after graduating from Notre Dame.
Looking ahead to next year, the Irish look forward to being able to play a full season and capitalize on the youth that is currently on the roster. Coach Holt emphasized how devastating it was to lose the fall season for such a young team that also had last spring taken away from them due to the pandemic.
Even through the spring competitions, the Irish head coach couldn’t help but feel that something was off. “We did get to compete, but it certainly wasn’t normal, at all. We’re looking forward to getting back to competing and playing under normal circumstances.”
While this year didn’t go as the team expected or hoped it would, the Irish are ready for the challenge that next season will bring. With a full slate of tournaments ahead in the fall and spring seasons, the only place the Irish can go is up and they look poised to do just that.