The Farmington Tigers girls' golf program has come a long way since head coach Keith Revels returned to coach six years ago. The year before Revels returned-he is now in his fifth season coaching-numbers were a problem.
"Six years ago, the year before I came back, there were eight girls on the team. So now we're up to 44 kids, a lot of them are beginners," Revels said. "In 2015 we were 74 strokes out of ninth (place at a conference meet), so we've closed that gap. In our last match (May 6 at Rich Valley Golf Course)-we were 66 strokes out of first, which is closer than we were to ninth four years ago. So we're hoping, we want to be in the mix."
In that May 6 meet, the Tigers were just fours strokes out of ninth place and 10 out of eighth, which Revels said is currently the team's main goal.
"We're trying to move, we've been in that 10th spot now-there are four conference matches a year-so this is my fifth year, the first four years all 16 we were 10th of 10 and now the first two this year we were 10th of 10. So we're trying to get out of that 10th spot and we're getting close," Revels said.
At the May 6 meet at Rich Valley, Farmington shot a team score of 387 and four of its six 18-hole scores were 100 or lower.
On Tuesday, May 14, the Tigers played at Heritage Links Golf Club in Lakeville but were not able to break out of 10th place. Farmington shot a team score of 437 and were led by junior Lauren Jorgensen with a 105. Jorgensen has been with the team the longest after coming out as an eighth-grader and Revels said she has played the Tigers No. 1 spot for over two years.
Freshman Aspen Ball and eighth-grader Madison Kadrlik both shot 110s, while eighth-grader Makenna Kadrlik added a 112 and lone senior Jenna Gerold contributed a 115.
Farmington remains an extremely young team with Gerold as their only senior and a total of six juniors. Half the team is made up of eighth-graders and freshmen and Revels said the key is to keep them interested.
"A whole bunch of them are middle schoolers (16 eighth-graders) who are just picking up the game. So the secret is we have to get them to like it enough to play in the summer," Revels said. "You've seen our weather we've had, in April and May, it's tough to make a golfer in two months. So we try and get them out and interested enough so they play in the summer. A lot of the really good teams come from communities that have country clubs and families that golf and kids that grew up golfing and we don't have a lot of those."
With more than 40 kids, Revels said that their home course of Southern Hills has treated them extremely well-including the establishment of a youth camp which the team is now starting to see girls who participated-and they were able to add a third coach.
"We were able to add a third coach now-Rich Kadrlik along with Andrew Paul, we needed another body," Revels said. "Like today, Rich is at Creek's Bend and I'm here. I bring six, he brings six and that leaves over 30 later today at Southern Hills. We need a third body because this happens numerous times where we are playing in two different cities and otherwise we'd just have to cancel practice."
The team was at Emerald Greens Golf Course on Tuesday, May 21, for its final South Suburban Conference meet. They return to Heritage Links on Wednesday, May 22. Sections are at The Legacy golf course in Faribault on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28-29.