WLN Hosts First Golf Academy

Nearly 70 residents took part in the first-ever WLN Academy.

Linda Phelps prepares to putt in her first time on the course.

Cindy Voliva

“This is the year of the handicap index!” announced Jamey Siefert, Handicap and Rules Chair for the Wildhorse Lady Niners (WLN). This group is often thought of as beginners or more lighthearted golfers, but this year, technology has created a new urgency to get all members swinging with a handicap.

“The software we use to keep score requires everyone to have a handicap. If a golfer doesn’t have a handicap, the system tags them as a scratch golfer (a top player with a 0 handicap).” To prevent that, each week before play day, Jamey manually enters a higher number for each golfer without a handicap—a big job, as the membership of WLN continues to grow dramatically.

With the task of getting everyone on board with a handicap, Lisa Miller and a team of dedicated volunteers created a first-ever WLN Golf Academy. On a blustery March morning, 66 WLN members attended classroom instruction on everything from the correct rules of golf to step-by-step instruction in using the software apps for GHIN, Golf Genius, and Chelsea.

Originally, the plan was to have two hours of classroom instruction, followed by two hours outside with the pros: putting, driving, chipping, and touring the first hole on the south course. Unfortunately, Denton weather caused a postponement of the outdoor section.

Allene Way attended the Academy. She has played golf over 20 years but never established a handicap or kept score.

“I really enjoyed the Academy,” said Allene. “It was concise and instructive. I’ve played a long time, but there was so much I didn’t know. It was nice to get refreshed on the rules and regulations.”

Linda Phelps is brand new to golf. In fact, WLN opening day was her first time on the course. “My neighbor took me to the range, and I was able to hit the ball on the first go! I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it properly. I started taking lessons with Stephen Zaudtke in December.”

The Academy was designed with golfers like Linda in mind. The organizers say they wanted to answer questions to help transition from classes to the course.

“I feel like the more I know, the more confident I am,” said Allene. “And that means less stress and more fun. I guess I’m like a lot of people: I’m consistently inconsistent!”