The Shepherd University Women's Golf Team had a successful September at two invitational meets. Courtesy photo

Two golf courses, one weekend: Which golf course was the best for a women’s PSAC tournament?

The Shepherd women’s golf team shot a two day round total of 762 at the Mercyhurst Fall Invitational at Lake View Country Club on Sept. 17. The next day, the team played at Whispering Woods golf course for the two-day Gannon Invitational where the team shot a one round team total of 369. The team travelled about 5 hours to Erie Pennsylvania for the back-to-back golf tournaments on Sept. 17, 18 and 19.

Juniors Amanda Deener, Ciara Scafide, Olivia Rosick, and freshman Sara Veara were the four players who played all three days of the tournaments and junior Ashlyn Parker was the fifth, but unfortunately had to withdrawal on day three due to a back injury. On Monday, the last day of the Gannon Invitational, an unexpected rainstorm came through during the night which continued into the morning. The last day of the Gannon tournament was canceled.

Both of the golf courses were equally as challenging and had many similarities, but which course was the best for a women’s college golf tournament?

We will look into the Mercyhurst Invitational at Lakeview Country Club first as it was the beginning tournament of the weekend. Amanda Deener shot her best round of the weekend here. “This is one of my favorite golf courses to play this whole season,” she said, “the course is easily walkable with clearly marked tee boxes so we never question where to tee off at. The whole course is well taken care of, especially the fairways as they can be compared to a perfect carpet of grass. One of the best parts of the course are the amazing views of Lake Erie.”

The country club also has one of the best practice chipping and putting greens that the team will see this season. Ciara has always loved coming to this course because of the huge practicing greens. “I love the practice chipping greens because there is such an open space that I don’t have to worry about being crowded,” she said, “I can take my time practicing before I need to head to the tee box for the tournament to start.” The practice greens consist of four greens with a big amount of rough around the edges for chipping practice and warm-ups. Ciara also liked the driving range because there are no fake grass matts and only real grass to hit off of.

Through the three days of playing Lakeview Country Club, including the team’s practice round, the team never got tired of playing the same course because it was so magnificent and well taken care of. The only negative side of the course was the team wished there was a bathroom on both floors of the club house.

The other tournament the women’s team played that weekend was the Gannon Invitational at Whispering Woods golf course. This course was more challenging than the previous course, Lakeview. The course consisted of deep ravines, steep hills, and woods lining each hole.

That did not stop freshman Sara Vera from shooting the best score of the team, a 77. “This was my first time playing this course and at first glance, I was a little nervous,” she said,” I didn’t let the multiple ravines and woods intimidate me as I played through the round.” The freshman said she even likes playing courses she has never played before better than if she has played them before.

Whispering Woods had great fairways and the greens weren’t as challenging as Lakeview. The tee boxes on the other hand had rough patches and bare spots. “The course was in good shape, but comparing to Lakeview, there is no competition,” the women’s team coach, Chuck Ingram, said,” I do like the challenges that Whispering Woods offers and there was faster play this round then at Lakeview.” Coach Ingram will be returning to the Gannon and Mercyhurst tournaments next year.

The Gannon and Mercyhurst Invitational were both challenging courses to have two back-to-back women’s golf tournaments, but team members preferred one by just a bit. Team members said the Mercyhurst Invitational at Lakeview Country Club had the perfect conditions for a women’s golf team tournament as the fairways were almost perfect, the holes weren’t too challenging, the rough was not too high, and the views were spectacular. They ranked Whispering Woods almost as high at Lakeview, except for some small negatives for the course like the rough tee boxes and dirt patches in the fairways.

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