Delaware Hayes recently added another sport to its ever-expanding portfolio of varsity ventures, as the Pacers’ girls golf team kicked off its inaugural season with a pair of tournaments last week.
The players, primarily, are as new to golf as the program is to the school. The cupboard is by no means bare, though, as head coach Steve Lehman, who takes over the new position after coaching the boys’ JV team for the last seven seasons, said he has a pair of pretty solid golfers to help usher in the program: Junior CC Bargar and sophomore Bailey Hager.
“We felt we had two girls who were pretty decent, so we really wanted to try and get this thing rolling,” he said. “Both spent a lot of time playing on the JV boys team last year. CC played with the boys in seventh and eighth grade, too, and still wanted to play when she got to Hayes.
“She played a lot last year essentially as the ‘No. 6 boy’ on the team. She competed in all four OCC matches and Bailey played in three.”
The duo also participated as individuals in the Division I Girls Sectional Golf Tournament last October at Oakhaven. Neither managed to advance to the district rung of competition, but both return as better players thanks to the experience.
Just how much better? Oh, about 10 to 20 strokes.
Bargar shot a 105 at sectionals while Hager fired a 108. In their second outing of the 2014 campaign, meanwhile, during last week’s Olentangy Classic (also played at Oakhaven), Hager finished 13th overall with an 87 while Bargar closed right behind her with an 89.
The significant improvements indicate the type of potential the team has as a whole. Lehman just has to school the newcomers — girls like Riley Geiger and McKenzi Confer — on the ins and outs of varsity golf.
“Most of the girls on our team are new to golf,” he said. “I would like the top two girls to play bogey golf and shoot around 90, which is pretty much where they are now, and by the end of the year consistently score in the low 80s. As for the other girls, I’m just working with them on getting around the course in a knowledgeable way, which they are pretty close to having down already. They know 90 percent of the rules, know their way around and understand golf etiquette … now we need to work on getting better results.”
Lehman said he’s confident the results will come, but until then, the enjoyment the girls are getting from the game will have to do.
“I’ve reached my goal when I put them in a scenario where they are having fun and can talk other kids into coming out for the team,” the coach said. “And we’re getting there. The girls we have are young and I believe we have four or five girls who are playing at the middle schools right now.”