P-P golf hopes pricey new tech will boost performance

A man stands with a golf club, ready to hit the ball.
David Song PO ’20 got his first ever collegiate win at the Tukwet Preview hosted by Chapman University Feb. 9. (Courtesy: P-P Athletics)

The Pomona-Pitzer men’s and women’s golf teams are hungry to improve on their respective third and seventh place SCIAC performances last year and will benefit from new alumni investment in the program. 

Both teams will be using a pricey motion-tracking tool called a TrackMan during practices. The company’s latest model, the TrackMan 4, starts at $18,995, according to its website.

“It tells you how far you’re hitting the ball, spin rate, club face angle. … It’s a tool that will help us get better,” Alan Tom PO ’21 said. “We’re really fortunate to have it.”

The men’s team has four returning seniors who will look to end their collegiate careers with a bang, but the team has only added one first-year. 

“Our one freshman fits in perfectly,” Tom said. “We’re super tight-knit, we do things on and off the golf course which I think is awesome.”

The team has struggled in recent years, though. 

“We haven’t had the best few years as of late, so we’re definitely in a rebuilding stage, but I think the momentum is definitely in our favor,” Tom said. “Ideally what we want to do is crack the top 50 in the rankings. Last year, I think we finished at 107, and just after this fall season, we’re at I think 57, so we’re already making a pretty big jump.”

Despite the team’s poor finish in the SCIAC last year, the Sagehens are looking forward to a year with an experienced team and relatively new head coach in John Wurzer, who coaches both the men’s and women’s teams.

“I love our coach,” Tom said. “He just inspires us all to be better.”

The men open conference play Feb. 29 in Tukwet Canyon.

The P-P women’s golf team will be in the hunt for the 2020 SCIAC title after their third-place finish last year. The program’s recent success is in large part thanks to the addition of Wurzer as head coach, team captain Andi Chaloult PO ’20 said via email.

“Making Nationals is a big goal, but we have the right pieces in place to make that happen for our team,” Chaloult said. “Our team confidence is growing, and we have stronger beliefs in ourselves to be the successful team that we are.”

The Sagehens lost a Second-Team All-SCIAC selection last year with the graduation of Sophia Hui PO ’19, but they have one returning in Annabelle Huether PO ’22. Huether capped off an impressive first-year campaign with a personal finish of 18th overall in the SCIAC championship, and will look to improve upon that performance this season.

The team will enter the season with a relatively experienced team of four upperclassmen. They also have a small incoming class: Yena Jang PO ’23 and junior transfer from Carleton College Abby Euyang PO ’21.

“They’ve really livened up the team,” Chaloult said of the first-years. “[They] contribute a lot to our team’s dedication to golf. They motivate me to go to extra practices with them and work harder at my own game.”

Chaloult said the team is looking forward to the Jekyll Island Invitational over spring break in Georgia.

“I heard the course is beautiful, and we’ll be playing with some great teams in this event,” Chaloult said. “Six of the nationally ranked top 10 teams and 14 of the top 25 teams will be there this year.”

The P-P women open SCIAC play Feb. 22 at Via Verde Country Club.

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