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PRC golf getting new players comfortable on the course

There are only a few more days before golf season starts in earnest for the Pearl River Central Lady Blue Devils golf team.

Shelly Dill and Beverly Griffing are in charge of helping the players navigate the intricacies of the game.

There are seven athletes in the group, some of which have never picked up a club prior to this season.

The learning curve is steep for a game like golf.

Griffing and Dill are trying to make sure their athletes are prepared come the start of the season, which will be Feb. 27.

“Golf is a lot of steps and we’re trying to teach them the essentials. Like trying to make contact, learning to putt and golf etiquette,” Dill said.

The players spend a lot of time on the driving range working on their power, but there are other aspects of the game to focus on as well.

Little things like how to grip the club, the proper form for swinging a club and which club to choose in certain situations are all details the athletes have to learn.

Golf is also a mentally taxing sport.

Maintaining proper technique in high-pressure situations can be hard.

It’s a skill that only improves as more time is spent on the course.

Having the right amount of mental toughness comes with time as the players become more comfortable.

However, because it is such an integral part of the game, Dill is making that aspect of golf a priority in practice.

“It’s not just with more experienced players, it’s even with new players. You get frustrated when you make bad shots and you have to overcome that and keep pushing through,” Dill said.

The team’s success over the years has led to high expectations.

Making the state playoffs is the first item on the agenda.

PRC is returning several athletes from last year’s team so the talent is there to make a postseason run.

“This year I think we have a good chance. I can tell you this, I see determination in my girls, they want it. They have been working hard and they’re determined,” Dill said.

Griffing has been instrumental in keeping the athletes focused while Dill was on medical leave.

The two work hand in hand to improve the team and will continue to do so throughout the season.

“She has been my right hand person and has been there to back me up on anything. She’s always there to support me and the girls,” Dill said.