David Boyce has made a career of growing grass.
The superintendant at the Oak Club in Genoa now has a new task: continue the growth of the Genoa-Kingston girls golf team.
After the Cogs won their first regional title last fall, Boyce steps in as a first-year coach to a team that graduated Class A state qualifier Emily Wakeley but has a pair of talented leaders with the game to fill the void.
A quest for a regional repeat and berth at team state could depend on the play of seniors Andrea Strohmaier and Katie Thurlby. Boyce has had a front-row seat for many G-K duals and has high goals for the Cogs.
“We definitely have a lot of experienced talent with four seniors in the lineup,” Boyce said. “It would be great to win another regional. I want us to advance even further. If we put it all together, we can go from sectionals to state.”
A two-time sectional qualifier, close calls have been the norm for Strohamier who continues to put herself in a position to qualify for state. As a sophomore, she missed out on a three-way playoff for a spot at state by one stroke. Last year she finished second in a playoff in the Class A Johnsburg Regional after she fired an 81, but faded at sectionals.
Although Strohmaier has proved the ability to post consistently low scores the past two years, Boyce wants to enhance the senior’s ability to avoid the big number. It’s often best to get out of trouble as soon as possible on the golf course. That’s an area he thinks can be a big difference in Strohmaier’s game.
“If Andrea can pick up her games a little, I think we can again win a regional,” Boyce said. “I hope to work with her on getting out of trouble on the golf course.”
Fueled by the close call at regionals, Strohmaier has eliminated negative thoughts from her mind during a round.
She played every day this summer and has liked the results.
Gone are expressions like, “don’t miss,” or “don’t hit it in the water.” Instead shes locked into what she wants to do. “Go get it next hole,” or “hit the fairway.”
“When I missed the putt at the regional championship I was very upset,” Strohmaier said. “I took that anger though and used it in a positive way. I want to use the positive thoughts to get me through the season. To urge me to push forward to qualify for state.”
Armed with the athleticism to medalist at any meet, Thurlby also has a potent mix of golf moxie and has proved she is not just a softball player moonlighting on the golf course for something to do in the fall.
“Katie has a ton of potential,” Boyce said. “She’s just getting her golf swing back after playing softball all summer. She’s an athlete and is loaded with potential. She manages the course well and can really control her ball flight.”