Women's Golf Prepares for Lady Puerto Rico Classic
Jan. 29, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In preparation for the upcoming Lady Puerto Rico Classic hosted by Purdue from Feb. 7-9, the Penn State women's golf team has been utilizing its indoor Holuba Hall facilities.
Preparations for Puerto Rico differ from the normal fall tournaments as players can't spend as much time on the Blue and White courses in the winter. The spacious Holuba Hall gives golfers the opportunity to work on improving any shot. The 75-foot ceiling allows players to use anything from a driver to a wedge. The Cayman golf ball is primarily used with the drivers. Cayman balls are lighter than normal golf balls with a textured surface, causing the flight of the ball to be similar to a regular golf ball but only traveling about half of the distance. This allows players to work on particular shots without worrying about the distance in Holuba Hall.
"I think it's very important for us because we're able to see where our ball is going and see the flight in here instead of maybe just hitting into a net," senior Katherine Murphy (Portsmouth, R.I.) said. "I think it's an advantage."
In addition to being able to work on their long game, players can also improve their short game with real golf balls. Holuba Hall gives the team the opportunity to place square nets on the artificial surface so players can work on their pitching and their wedge game, attempting to place the ball in the net. Additional markers are set up throughout Holuba Hall to give players something to aim for. The players are able to hit right off of the field turf which lets them see the flight of their ball from start to finish.
"If we're trying to work on intentionally drawing or intentionally fading a shot, it allows us to do that," head coach Denise St. Pierre said. "We do hit shorter shots with the real ball to work on feel for different lengths and pitch shots, which is always good."
The Fritz Strength and Conditioning Center in REC Hall is also a key component to the golfer's Puerto Rico preparations. Outside of their hours spent in Holuba Hall, the team also hits the gym during the week. Each player sets up appointments with the trainer for three times a week, with workouts varying from day to day and from player to player. The gym gives the players the opportunity to partake in exercises in the upper and lower body as well as core strengthening. This gives them time to work on golf-specific exercises. During the other two days, the players participate in cardiovascular activities to improve stamina.
The quality winter indoor practice facilities should help ease the transition for the team as they get on real grass in Puerto Rico. St. Pierre said she expects a slightly rolling course with Bermuda grass and a lot of water. She believes that the work spent in the offseason in Holuba and the gym has prepared the Nittany Lions.
"I really don't think it will be nearly as difficult as we might imagine," St. Pierre said. "People think of Puerto Rico being really far away, but it's really just a little further than Miami. I really think that they'll make that adjustment."