Women’s golf team values mental toughness

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    The TCU women’s golf team has set the standards high this season as they look to defend their Mountain West Conference title.

    Head coach Angie Larkin said the team expected to win multiple tournaments this season, including conference.

    “We expect to win two or three tournaments at least this spring, win conference as well as moving into regionals and nationals,” Larkin said. “I think we really have those eye high expectations of putting ourselves in position and winning those tournaments as well.”

    Seniors Brooke Beeler and Rachel Raastad will lead the Lady Frogs this season. Beeler finished No. 53 in the Golf Week/Sagrin Rankings last spring. Beeler said the high expectations this season came from the belief Larkin had in the team.

    "We’ve got some high goals for this spring semester because coach believes this is one of the better teams she has had,” Beeler said.

    Coach Larkin said she has talked with Beeler and Raastad about what being a senior leader means — something she said she thought they’ll do a good job with.

    “I’ve talked to them a lot about their senior leadership and really expecting them to step up this final semester and lead the team either through actions or motivating or just being good role models, really taking the team to another level as a whole,” Larkin said.

    Of the eight golfers on the roster, four are freshmen. Raastad said she and Beeler have been mentors for these new teammates.

    “It’s basically two freshmen for each one of us to take care of and teach and to inspire,” Raastad said. “For us, it’s really the whole process of making us come together as a team and perform at the highest level as a team.”

    Beeler said she and Raastad have really worked this year on helping everyone on the team improve.

    “Us two have come together this year and tried to get the girls encouraged to get better and help us get better,” Beeler said.

    Larkin said freshmen Alexandra Bonetti and April McCoy were expected to do some incredible things, along with sophomore Sanna Nuutinen. Nuutinen was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year last spring.

    TCU finished its fall season with a sixth place finish at the Alamo Invitational. Larkin said the team learned a lot about mental toughness during the fall.

    “I think we learned to be more mentally tough and positive with ourselves,” Larkin said. “I think they are really starting to believe that they are as good as any team out there.”

    Mental toughness was something both Beeler and Raastad said was an area they worked on to improve as golfers.

    Raastad said she would think too much about what might happen if she hit the ball a certain way and needed to make a change.

    “Something had to change there so I could focus on what I needed to focus on, which was to just get the ball from one place to next place,” Raastad said.

    Heading into the spring, Larkin said the team had a good work ethic and a desire to learn and to win.

    “I think one of our strongest things is our work ethic and our talent,”she said. “We are very, very talented.”

    The Lady Frogs will open their season at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Feb. 12-14.

    Lady Puerto Rico Classic
    Date: Feb. 12-14, 2012
    Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Time: All Day