It Doesn’t Get Better Than This; IBW’s “Tee”rific Women’s Golf Team


Helen Brodahl

The 2022 varsity team

Maryam Luqman (she/her), Staff Writer

Over the past couple of weeks, students at Ida B. Wells have been preparing for spring sports. Starting on Feb. 27, after an extended weekend of snow, sports could finally start practices, including the IBW’s women’s golf team.

The Women’s Golf team at IBW has been preparing for spring sports since the summertime and well into the school year. “Before the season even starts, I will go out well before and go to the driving range, you know, [to] prepare myself.” Corinna Murdock said, a junior on the team. “Sometimes some of us will get together and do the same thing.”

Spring sports officially started on Feb. 27. Since then, the IBW’s women’s golf team has also officially started their practices at RedTail Golf Center. They meet there every day, Monday through Friday, after school from 4 to 6. 

At practices, players work on three different parts: range; practicing their golf swing, chipping; a short game shot in which the golf ball is mostly touching the ground, and putting; a stroke made to get the golf ball into the hole.

The tournaments for the golf team happen every week at different public golf courses. When playing a match, the varsity team will go against all of the other teams in the district. They play all 18 holes of a golf course. 

During a tournament, our five varsity players will be paired up with the other five varsity players from different schools in the district. The number one players from each team will be paired up to play—same with the number twos, threes, fours and fives. Players are ranked by how well they play, so the number one players are the best players on each school team.

Tournaments also happen in the summer through the Oregon Golf Association (OGA). These tournaments are completely individual. Helen Brodahl, a senior and varsity player on the team, regularly goes to 1 or 2 OGA tournaments a week during the summer. “It’s good to consistently keep playing tournament golf, it makes you stick by the rules,” Brodahl said.

When it comes to junior varsity, the tournaments are usually played just for fun. At the tournaments, half a golf course is played, meaning nine holes. Many women’s golf teams do not have enough players to have a JV team, so information about tournaments isn’t completely set for them. Sometimes there are teams in the PIL who can’t even get enough varsity players. 

If a JV player wants to play with varsity, they can challenge the fifth spot varsity player to a game a week before the tournament. If the JV player wins, they will earn the fifth spot at the varsity tournament. Currently, the fourth and fifth varsity spots for the IBW women’s team are very fluid.

Last year in May, the team went to state placing 8th overall. This year, the team plans to go again and hopes to win this year’s PIL as they have for the past four consecutive years.

The team as a whole wasn’t the only one to have success at state. Helen Brodahl placed 2nd in the individual ranking. She is the current number-one varsity player on the team. She has been on the team since her freshman year and is going to play D1 golf at Stonehill College.

2022 varsity players, Lucia Donovan and Helen Brodahl Credit: Catherine Karkosky

Brodahl has been on the team for four years, and she enjoys the supportive and fun environment of being on a team. “Golf is a very individual sport, so like playing in all of my OGA tournaments, it’s very individual and you have friends in it, we don’t exactly have a team,” Brodahl said. “It’s really fun being a part of a golf team because golf isn’t a team sport.” 

The players on our IBW team have made lots of connections with the girls from other school teams. At varsity tournaments, everyone is often paired up with the same people each time, and golf rounds can be up to six hours long, so everyone gets very close to each other.

“Me personally, I’ve met a lot of people on other teams and even in our teams, who I would’ve probably never known if I wasn’t on this women’s golf team.” Natalie Teague said, a junior and varsity player on the team.

“There’s a lot of people who aren’t very experienced with golf and just are just kinda out there for fun.” Teague said, “even though the competition is fun, I would say people don’t take it too seriously, so there is no bad blood.”

Luckily, IBW has a bigger women’s team, with five varsity players on the team right now and around 11 girls who have signed up for this year’s team. The positivity that surrounds the team makes a fun environment for everyone no matter their experience.