The Bulldogs, just like many other teams in the Midwest, face the unique challenge of preparing for the season in the dead of winter. Unable to spend time on the golf course, the teams instead turn their focus inside working on technical skills. During its J-Term trip, the team was able to do what they can’t do in Des Moines at this time of the year – play outside. While in Chile, the team played four 18-hole rounds and one nine-hole round on several of the country’s top golf courses. Mornings for the team were spent in the classroom with Drake Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy Matthew C. Mitchell and faculty from the Universidad de los Andes while afternoons were spent on the golf course or exploring parts of Chile. The team also took trips to San Cristobal Hill, Funicular, and La Moneda as well as a weekend trip to Valparaiso, Chile. “We obviously play in Iowa,” said sophomore Aimee Gerschke. “I usually never get the opportunity to see my ball flight. In practice, we’re usually hitting into nets and stuff like that. We can get better in here every single day, but to be able to play a course and not just hit was huge progress.” “The decision was easy,” said Pruett. “I wanted them to get to practice in the winter. But giving them the cultural and educational experience made it just that much more appealing to go do it together and work.” While the trip allowed the student-athletes a unique cultural and educational experience unable to be replicated in a classroom it also gave the members of the team a unique bonding experience. The team opens its 2018 season Feb. 12-13 at the KTP Golf Invitational in Henderson, Nev. Print Friendly Version “Each course you go play is different,” said Glennie. “But being able to play in a different country was really great and they were so welcoming to us to come out and play. It was a great opportunity that we wouldn’t have had without this class.” Before the beginning of the spring semester, the Drake University women’s golf team took in a two-week trip to Santiago Chile, through a Drake J-Term seminar – Chile and the Global Economy. “Taking a class in another country was cool because we got to actually experience everything in all the cultures,” said Gerschke. “It’s one thing to take a class and learn about it but its another thing to experience it in another country and take it all in.” “This is my last year, so it was a nice experience to be able to have with my team,” said senior Madison Glennie. “We all relied on each other for different things and I think that just moves over to the golf course as well.” “It strengthened our team dynamic a lot,” said Gerschke. “We were together for two weeks non-stop. We all bonded really well and made a lot of memories that will last my whole life. I think the bond we formed is going to help our team overall and going into the season.” Plans for the trip began more than two years ago when several other Drake teams took international trips. Head coach Rachel Pruett began the process to plan one for the Drake women’s golf team hoping to give the student-athletes a chance to prepare for the upcoming season, but also a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
December 24, 2019