Collegiate golfers in the Midwest face challenges that southern schools don't have to deal with. Freezing temperatures, wind and snow fall keep Ball State golfers away from the green for several months at a time.

Though winter generally forces an extended offseason, Ball State men’s golf coach Mike Fleck is confident in his team’s ability to keep in shape.

“We had such good weather on the back end of the fall on into December, the guys really kept playing all the way up to semester break,” Fleck said.

Upcoming Tournaments

Men's: Earl Yestingsmeier Match Play – Feb. 8-9 in Dade City, Fla.

Women's: Eagle Invitational – Feb. 12-14 in Estero, Fla.

He also said during Winter Break, many of his players have the ability to go down to somewhere warm and play. They can participate in tournaments so they can stay in competitive form.

Even without traveling, the team is prepared when the weather in Muncie turns sour. They practice at nearby MD’s Golf Academy, which features indoor heated driving range stalls and a putting green. 

The team also uses a TrackMan, a golf swing monitoring device that is used to help golfers know more about how their swing works. This is very valuable during the winter because all it requires is a hitting mat, some space and a net.

“Other than the concept of not physically getting out and playing golf every day, we’re doing everything we can to maintain our golf recognition to get back out there and start playing in the spring,” Fleck said.

Despite the issues surrounding offseason competition, Fleck shows confidence in his team moving forward.

The women’s team head coach Katherine Mowat shows the same confidence in her team’s offseason regimen. No matter how prepared they are, she, like Fleck, acknowledges there has been luck involved in this mild winter.

“We’ve had some great fortune to be out on the golf course playing,” Mowat said. “We’re just thrilled to be able to play on grass and hit off grass”.

This is something that wouldn't be possible during a colder winter with snow on the ground. 

Mowat also said the women had been playing well and putting up scores that inspire confidence. She relies on her experience as a coach in this region and knows her team knows the right ways to prepare for the season, even when playing isn’t an option.

The team has benefited from being able to play outside by putting an end to some of their anxiety.

With tournaments beginning for both teams, they look to excel and follow through on what they have been working on throughout the winter.