Golf is a sport where you wait, a lot.
Wait for a tee time. Wait to hit again. Wait for the ball to drop. It’s a sport in which you even have to wait for the rain to stop.
Bethune-Cookman University, which lost its men’s tennis and golf teams this school year because of COVID-19, has a women’s golf team this fall but is going to have to wait a little longer for a complete one.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats women’s golf team can be found on a practice green in Port Orange — all three of them. The problem is, a team needs at least five golfers, and when the team plays in a tournament, the top four scores are counted.
“At the end of the day, all I wanted to is be able to do, is be able to play golf, “ says Kyleigh Leaf, who transferred to the team this summer. “Be able to have fun playing golf while getting an education.”
Coach Dan Venema is also waiting to see what options could present themselves for the spring semester.
“I’ve been trying to go in the transfer portal every day,” Venema explains. “Emailing girls, going on other recruiting websites and platforms.”
This fall, members of the team will play as individuals so they can get some tournaments and experience under their belts.
“Every score counts,” Emma Hastie, another transfer said. “We are just going to play as individuals. This is going to be good to get our feet wet with this new conference (Southwestern Athletic Conference).”
But like so many things in the world right now, this is not normal.
“It’s a littler nerve-wracking not knowing what to expect of the future,“ Leaf explained. “That’s just how it has been the past year or two, just the unknowing.”
What the three golfers and their coach do know is that the wait is over. They will play this fall.
Venema now has to wait out the fall to see who he can get to join his team in the spring.
“The right girls will come to this program,” Venema said. “When that happens, if I keep doing my job, as far as reaching out to as many student-athletes as I can, then they will come,”
Now everyone must wait to see how the team comes together in the spring.
According to Venema, the transfer portal includes more than 1,500 players right now, and the Wildcats also will consider athletes from other sports if they need to fill spots for a starting five in the spring.