Fresh off their fifth state golf championship in May, the varsity girls golf team traveled to Scotland for the American High School (AHS) Golf Championships in St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf. The Woodward team—Ayanna Habeel, Teagan Fritts, Nyah Hawkins-Harrison, Kate Pounders, Katie Dorton, Jakari Harris, Susannah Cole, and Maya Foreman, accompanied by Head Coach Pete Fritts and Sue Fritts as chaperones—competed on three different courses over three days.
The trip began with a walking history lesson about the Old Course at St. Andrews, and the girls got a feel of what it's like for professional golfers who play the oldest course in the world. They walked the No. 17 road hole and crossed over the Swilken Bridge on their way to the world famous 18th green, hearing stories from golfing history along the way.
The famed Carnoustie Golf Links was the first stop for play. Each girl was paired with a professional caddie for a practice round. Carnoustie was the site for the Senior Men's British Open the week following the girls' departure. For most of the girls, this was the first experience playing a true links golf course. They found that golf in Scotland is quite different from golf in the United States.
The AHS tournament was played at Crail Golf Links and the Kittocks and Torrance courses at The Fairmont Resort. The Woodward girls were the only female team playing against an all-male field featuring Washington State fourth place finisher Mercer Island High and New Jersey State Champions Northern Highlands High. With temperatures of 50 degrees and 30 mph winds along the North Sea, the girls did more than hold their own versus the boys and posted a third place team finish overall. Susannah Cole finished first among the girls, posting scores of 79/82/81 at distances between 5,500 and 6,100 yards.
The awards banquet featured a traditional Scottish meal complete with bagpipes and haggis. Afterward, the girls headed to Royal Troon for day two of the British Open, where they experienced the typical Scotland weather of wind and rain while watching their favorite PGA players tee up in a quest to win the third major of the 2016 season.
Along with all the golf, the girls were able to take in the sites and history of St. Andrews. They were lodged in apartments at the University of St. Andrews and also were treated to a ghost and history tour by a local author.
The Woodward girls golf team can now add St. Andrews, Scotland, to their list of travel destinations. Over the years, the team has played in tournaments in Houston, San Antonio, and Midland, Texas, as well as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The girls will start the 2017 season in search of their sixth state title and another golf destination to add to the growing list.
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