The girls golf season is barely three weeks old and first-year Wisconsin Rapids coach Randy Blom has seen impressive improvement from the Raiders.
From the first meet, at Tomah, to the second at Wisconsin Dells, the Raiders dropped 40 strokes from their score.
At Tomah the girls shot a 441, the first day at Wisconsin Dells they carded a 420 and on day 2, a 401.
That kind of improvement has both the girls and the new coach excited for the season progress.
“We’ve made some big strides already, but we have to keep working hard,” junior Mya Peters said. “We need to improve our short game a ton, but our long game is pretty good.”
Blom, who takes over the program from Karen Scarseth, coached football, baseball and girls baskeball at Nekoosa and Wisconsin Rapids the past 25 years.
“Karen was hinting about getting out of it to me, but didn’t want to do it unless someone would be willing to take it over and keep things going,” Blom said. “It was a tough decision to take it, because I coached for so long and was starting to get out of it. But, I enjoy being on the golf course and it’s fun to be a head coach again.”
Blom is keeping his approach simple and wants the girls to improve and enjoy playing the game.
“Golf is a difficult game and girls have to realize that it takes an incredible amount of time and practice to be a consistent golfer,” Blom said. “Several girls played during the summer and it’s noticable. The more you play and work at it, the more consistent you will be.”
He told the girls early in practice that they are going to have high scores, but it’s how you react and learn from them that is the key.
“I told the girls, first, not to get too frustrated when they have (a) high score,” Blom said. “And second, there were things that caused it, and they have to figure it out, what caused it and how to improve it.
“Stacy (Lehman), is a good example,” Blom noted. “She shot a 120 at Tomah and then 93 and 96 at the Dells. She worked a few things and knocked almost 30 strokes off her score in just a few days.”
The Raiders’ program, now in its 13th year of existence, won the 2000 WIAA state title.