By Michael Haag | sports editor
In a class sport like golf, it is imperative to play with a certain etiquette. This doesn’t preclude the occasional display of bluster or celebration, as we’ve seen that even in such calm and quiet surroundings, it can create some memorable moments. With Desert Match Play under her belt and a spring slate to come, Baylor’s No. 16 women’s golfer will be aiming to insert some personality into her game.
“We are all on [showing swagger] on our team,” said second-year golfer Rosie Belsham. Britta [Snyder] has… a swaggering march. I don’t know what we’ll really call her, but she’s got this bounce to her walk and we’re all like, ‘Oh yeah, just do some of Britta’s walk.’
Whether it’s the Englishman Belsham or the Iowa-born Snyder, the body language they bring to class can fly under the radar. Head Coach Jay Goble knows firsthand how much of an impact this has on an athlete’s performance.
“I mean, body language is probably the most underrated thing you can have,” Goble said. “I think the better your body language, the better your swagger, the better your swagger, you start to believe in it and you start to believe that you can go out and do amazing things.”
A team made up mostly of comebacks, the swag has been featured in tournaments dating back to last season. Goble said the previous year they had become tough to beat, crediting their confident approach. He said the current team can reach that point again as the athletes will continue to progress deeper into the season.
“I think we proved that last year when we had our swagger, we were pretty tough,” Goble said. “We kind of walked on a golf course and knew we had a good chance of winning every time. It will be good to get that back and that’s always the goal, and again I think the team has that.
It can be difficult for athletes to find the desire to compete in training if no one is participating with them. Belsham took care of it, but said it was great to be back with the rest of the roster to complete the drills.
“It was so nice to be back at the establishment [and seeing] everyone practices together,” Belsham said. “You could kind of feel the competitiveness coming back, which you don’t get back during the break when you’re training alone. you’re just kinda [say]”I’m going to finish this exercise”, but then when someone else finishes it, you’re like, “Oh, well, I’m going to finish this before you do”, so that was really cool.
The competition between the list is fierce; nobody lets go. In the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, Baylor’s Team of the Tournament swept the top three individual spots. It ended up being a close fight between the three, with each ultimately trying to beat the other for the top spot. For Goble, having that competitive friendly-shooting mindset is a positive thing that ends up helping against the opposition.
“They’re all friends, but they’ll all want to fight,” Goble said. “They take it very seriously and they want to beat their teammates and they want to be one of those five spots in the lineup. Competitiveness brings out the best in this group for sure, and I think when they want so much beat their teammate they play well, we usually end up beating others too.
The Bears are not lacking in confidence in their abilities, as every athlete knows what they can bring to the course every day.
“I think we’re quite, I don’t know how to put it politely, but a pretty cocky girl group,” Belsham said. “We are all very confident.”
Turning that belief into low scores on the course is what Goble expects to see as the season progresses. He said he was certain the team would reach its potential and peak in the spring season. For Goble, the team will ideally hit that mark around the turn of the playoffs to ensure the deepest run possible.
“I mean, I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I’m very confident that at some point this team is going to click and they’re going to be pretty tough to beat,” Goble said. “I think this team is just too good not to click at some point and play really good golf. That’s sort of what we’re aiming for is that we’re going to learn from those experiences and we’re going to improve through those experiences and hopefully we’ll hit our stride mid-April.