ASU's golf teams are learning to maintain success on and off the course

ASU men's and women's golf teams have a lot to juggle with a busy travel schedule

Both ASU men’s and women’s golf teams have hectic travel schedules this fall and upcoming spring seasons. The teams have traveled to multiple cities and will continue racking up the flight miles as they compete in away tournaments.

ASU women's head coach Missy Farr-Kaye said that juggling school and travel is very different from when she played.

“It’s a lot different now, because of technology, they can do stuff on the road that we couldn’t be able to do,” Farr-Kaye said. “It forced us to be more organized.”

Farr-Kaye used to play for the Sun Devil golf team. She recalled using plane rides as an opportunity to finish schoolwork and read her textbooks. Now, she says her players can use their computers to get classwork done before arriving to the airport.

Senior Roberta Liti has traveled to to various golf courses nationwide. As a result, she has learned to manage her time well. 

“I try to get my work done early. If I have free time, I try to get ahead,” Liti said. “Being ahead gives me a chance to practice before a tournament.”

The ASU women’s golf team has traveled to Tennessee and Illinois so far this season. They will continue traveling the rest of the month as they head to Austin, Texas (Oct. 9-10), Kona, Hawaii (Oct. 23-24) and Atlanta, Georgia (Oct 30- Nov. 1).

Noah Lau

“It’s easy to put things off. Our academic coach does such a great job checking in weekly,” Farr-Kaye said. “(She tries) to always keep them on track or a little ahead.”

ASU men’s head coach Matt Thurmond agrees that the team is focused on their schoolwork while traveling. 

“It’s fascinating to see that develop over time – new players and the younger players often have hard times struggling," Thurmond said. "They are always overwhelmed by school.” 

The Sun Devils men's golf team has traveled to Minnesota and Carefree so far, and they will end the fall season traveling to Erie, Colorado (Oct. 9-10) and Windermere, Florida (Oct. 22-24). 

Both coaches said that their teams might struggle at first with the balance of school, but as they gain more experience, they become better students.

The Sun Devils travel a day or two before a tournament to get situated and ready for competing in tournaments.

“Our golf tournaments are really long when we travel. They usually study on the flights,” Thurmond said. “When they get home late at night, they will have a quiz (or) exam to take. They do it on their own and find time to do when they can.”

As Liti said, getting ahead in classwork helps her have more time to practice her game. She hopes to continue finishing top of the leaderboard in her Sun Devil career.

“I definitely prepare physically before the tournaments with a few extra workouts,” Liti said. “Mentally, I work on my goals and how to get there – I don’t want to get there and be surprised by anything.”

No matter the location of the tournaments, the Sun Devils are ready to play. Sophomore Alex del Rey finished first in the Maui Jim Invitational in Carefree, and junior Linnea Strom finished second in the Windy City Collegiate. Both teams have won a tournament, and a Sun Devil golfer has placed in the top three in every tournament this fall.

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