Viking girls golfers on right course

The 2023 Siuslaw girls varsity golf team, from left: Darcy Edmond, Mya Smith, Coach Chrissy Davis, Emily Gortz, Jenna Young and Kyriana Masterman. Not pictured Rhianna Lane. Photo by Zac Burtt/Siuslaw News

SHS team scores continue to drop

May 5, 2023 — The Siuslaw boys golf team’s remarkable streak of six consecutive tournament wins has, rightfully, garnered a ton of attention from Florence high school golf fans this season but also impressive has been the play of the Siuslaw girls golf team.

The team is led this year by Coach Chrissy Davis. Davis was a volunteer coach last year but, before the start of the 2023 season, signed a contract as a paid assistant under Head Coach Chuck Johnson.

Before volunteering with the team last year, Davis helped at Florence Golf Links’ last two Junior Golf Clinics and plans to do the same this year. She was a volunteer softball coach in Wash. for about five years and has helped with other junior golf camps around the northwest.

Like the boys team, the Vikings girls have shown gradual improvement as the season has gone on, as indicated by their team score over their last few events. On March 23 at Bandon Crossing they scored a 513. On April 3 the team score went up a bit to 531. April 12 the team returned to their home course for the Marshfield Invite where they scored a 506. Finally, last week the team traveled to Trysting Tree, the site of the state tournament, and scored their lowest team score of the season, a 481.

“Both of us coaches are so proud of the girls team,” said Davis.

One reason for the team’s success appears to have to do with sheer numbers. According to Davis, last year there were eight girls on the Siuslaw. This year there are 19.

“There’s a lot more interest,” said Davis. “We’ve had a good group of girls to choose from to qualify for varsity and JV. Then we’ve also tried to build a development team of really very beginning level golfers who aren’t ready for tournaments or JV or varsity. Some have never even played golf.”

Though there has been a lot of movement between teams, a varsity team has emerged in time for the district tournament, which was on May 2 and 3, after press deadlines.

“Rhianna Lane has emerged as the leader on the varsity team,” said Davis. “She was our best golfer last year and is usually our low scorer this year. Jenna Young has been great. Darcy Edmonds returns from last year and she has been really good.”

The other three members of the varsity team are all first-year high school golfers, Emily Gortz, Mya Smith and Kyriana Masterman.

“It’s amazing,” said Davis in reference to the play of these first-year players.

Davis did not expect her team to win district this year or even make state. Instead they will focus on fundamentals.

“What we’re looking for is individual development of each player,” said Davis. “Learning how to put, learning how to swing, learning how to chip, learning the different positions for each stroke.”

There’s one thing that Davis feels is the most important thing for these young golfers to learn.

“What we’re really trying to do is get the kids to understand it's fun,” said Davis. “It’s a game you can play for the rest of your life.”

Steady improvement is what Davis especially hopes to see at district.

“I would like to see them equal or better their best individual score,” said Davis.

As for goals for the program, Davis hopes to see lots of returning golfers next year and for those golfers to continue to improve.

“We’ve got three seniors that are graduating,” said Davis. “We’re gonna have to fill those spots. I’d also like to see this core group continue to improve.”

If the team finishes in the top three at district or an individual Viking finishes in the top six they will qualify for the state tournament May 8-9 at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis.