October 17, 2012 - The Lady Wolves fought against the gusts of wind during their MHSAA Regionals at Twin Lake Golf Course last Thursday.
"I was so proud of them," said Clarkston Lady Wolves Varsity Golf Coach Steve Hoffman. "The course was in great shape. The sun was out. It was 60 degrees. We didn't have freezing hands. It was just the wind with 35-45 gusts per hour."
They ended up taking sixth place out of 14 teams with a score of 388. Davison, Rochester and Rochester Adams took the first three spots to continue onto the state finals.
"We beat Rochester and Rochester Adams this year so it was a even harder loss to swallow," Hoffman added. "It was just that kind of day. It was a great experience."
Senior Anna Gray led the team with a par of 86 and tied for sixth place. She lost to Midland's Amanda Walsh in the first sudden death hole to qualify for individuals.
"I was choked up," said Hoffman. "It was hard.I felt bad for Anna. She had it in her grasp and I know she wanted it. Her pro shot was excellent. Her chip wasn't bad. Her third putt, she pushed it right and then she missed the fourth putt. It happens. It was tough. But our lives are shaped more by defeat than by victory."
Junior Paige Olsen hit a par of 93; senior Shelby Fleming, 102; sophomore Caitlin McCaghy, 107; and junior Dana Olsen, 108.
"When they hit the ball and put it up there that ball would move 50 feet to 50 yards from the wind," Hoffman added."You couldn't predict what the ball would do. It would even move on putting green if the wind hit it just right."
He noted it was a great season mixed with fun and the golfers improved everytime they were out on the course.
"We have a lot to be grateful and thankful for," Hoffman said.
The team graduates five seniors this year - Gray, Fleming, Brooke Bullinger, Madison McGuire and Courtney Polito.
"They will be missed," said Hoffman. "It was a good chemistry and fit on this team. They got along really well. They had fun and they worked hard. Even I choked up a little bit on Thursday. I could feel it."
Gray was nominated for the Academic All-State team and for the All-League team. Hoffman said All-League would not be announced until the end of October.
"Anna is one of a kind," he said about the team's captain. "She truly is a leader in every sense and every fashion. Not only does she have the skills but she has the work ethic. She communicates extremely well. She really held the team together. Her family hosted a team dinner. She is a cut above. She will be missed. Hopefully we will have somebody step into her shoes."
Out of the top six golfers, the team has four returning - the Olsen twins, McCaghy and junior Katie McKnee.
He noted they have excellent golfers coming up from the JV team. The JV team was undefeated this year and in 2011.
"This year was good," Hoffman smiled. "But next year will be better. It will be fun to see who works hard over the winter."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.