The opportunity to play alongside some of the best players to ever play the game of golf doesn't present itself often, and the Gopher women's golf team took full advantage of their chance to do so this season. While on Spring Break, during a round at Pinnacle Peak Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Gophers were able to play 18 holes with LPGA Hall of Famer Betsy King and major winner, Sherri Turner.
"It was a great experience for the team to play with two very accomplished LPGA professionals. Both had a ton of success during their college and professional careers," said Gopher's women's coach, Kris Wessinger. "Betsy King was inducted into the Hall of Fame which was very exciting for the girls to play with someone who has had so much success."
Inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1995, Betsy King is one of the most accomplished golfers in LPGA history. A member of the Furman University 1977 NCAA Golf Championship team, King went on to record 34 wins on the LPGA Tour, including 6 major tournament victories. A three time winner of LPGA Tour Player of the Year honors, King also won more events between 1984 and 1989 then any other professional golfer, both male or Female.
A college teammate of King's, Sherri Turner's career also speaks for itself. A current LPGA Tour professional and former NCAA All American at Furman, Turner has won three times on tour. However, her most memorable victory was a major at the 1998 Mazda LPGA Championship. Turner was also the tour's money winner the same season.
Playing alongside the two highly decorated golfers proved to be a very beneficial experience for the Gophers, as the team tried to soak up as much information as they could.
"They were able to ask a lot of questions about how they became such successful players. I think our team was able to see how hard both of these women have worked to find their success, and to become a top player both on the collegiate and professional level you must make sacrifices" said Wessinger.
"Sherri had offered our team some great advice. [She] talked to Teresa Puga about winning and [her] advice was make sure you are committed to your pre shot routine and you practice it all the time. It should always be the same and this is one thing you can control on the golf course. When you are nervous you should always be able to rely on your pre shot routine" added Wessinger.
Playing alongside two of the most famous names in women's golf was an unbelievable opportunity for the Gopher women's golf team, and Wessinger thinks it might just give her players the ability to take their games to the next level.
"I think some of our players realized they are capable to play at the top level. If they continue to love golf and enjoy the process of becoming the best player they can be, it is possible for them to win and take their game onto the LPGA."