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Weather poses challenge to Rutgers on golf green

A key to being a successful golfer is dealing with the adverse conditions that may come at any time.

One of those adverse conditions that can affect a golfer’s play every time she steps on to the course is the weather.

Sophomore Samantha Moyal can attest to this, as she believes it does not matter. According to her, what does matter is confidence in your game and play.

“In order to play in these different conditions, we have to perfect our ability to shape our shots,” Moyal said. “By ‘shaping our shots,’ I mean being able to hit the ball low, high, left or right.”

Freshman Taylor Clark believes that forecasts are useful for figuring out the clothing and equipment she will need.

Adjusting to the weather is how the great golfers separate themselves from the others.

The wind plays a huge role as it can affect how a golfer can approach hitting the ball, how much power is needed to hit the ball and aiming where the golfer wants to hit the ball.

Rutgers head women’s golf coach Maura Ballard said the most challenging condition to play in is the wind.

“The worst weather to play golf in, in my opinion, is strong winds,” Ballard said. “The wind not only moves your ball, but it messes with your commitment to a shot as you may try to manipulate the ball mid swing as you feel the wind blowing. It is very difficult to focus on your shot when it’s really windy.”

When the Scarlet Knights played in the Kiawah Invitational Tournament in South Carolina from March 2-4, the weather was a factor. It was windy and temperatures were in the 30s.

Factors like these affect the team’s preparation for the tournament, but are things the Knights believe they should not focus on.

“Any weather condition can be challenging, but it is something out of your control,” Clark said. “Things, such as remaining focused on each shot and keeping a positive attitude are things you can control.”

It is up to the golfers to make the best of the situation and perform to the best of their abilities. The golfer’s mindset is vital when facing adverse weather.

They must go into the situation with a positive mindset and outlook to succeed and hit the ball the way she wants.

For Clark, where she grew up has made dealing with playing conditions easier.

“Learning to play golf while living in Michigan has given me the experience to succeed and to remain focused in many weather conditions,” Clark said. “During Michigan’s golf season, you can experience many different types of weather and course conditions at any time.”

The past weather in New Jersey has impacted Rutgers as it still has yet to practice on its own course this semester.

With all the snow that New Jersey had the past few months, it took time for it to completely melt. Now that it has melted, coupled with the rain over the past few days, the course is soaked.

This leaves the Knights at a disadvantage because they are not getting the hands-on experience to deal with outdoors influences. Instead, they have had to rely on a golf simulator with the conditions already preset.

Although both Moyal and Clark agree that the simulator is helpful, they also admit that it is nothing compared to actually being out in the weather.

Ballard put it very simply when it came to adjustments in weather conditions.

“Experience is the best teacher,” Ballard said.

For updates on the Rutgers women’s golf team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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