Golf is an individual sport, but the team is what matter most

Coach Hosch (left) talking to Pauline Welker (right) as they discuss strategies for the upcoming season. (Courtesy of CSUF Women's Golf)

With golf being so individualized, it may seem redundant to be part of a team. However, in collegiate golf, being a part of a team is one of the most crucial aspects


Going into her third season as the CSUF head coach for the women’s golf team, Kathryn Hosch has made a consistent effort to establish a culture within the team. For Hosch, the first step in establishing a culture that helps the team thrive starts with her, she said.


“It starts with the coach. I think everything starts from the top and then it trickles down,” Hosch said. “I can’t just get mad at the team and be like, ‘Why aren’t you guys getting along?’, because it is really going to start from the top.”


Hosch said she holds herself to the same standards she expects from her players, leading by example through the team’s efforts. Being accountable for the team atmosphere is only part of the equation for Hosch, she said. She also stressed the importance of having a strong relationship with each individual player.


“My kind of coaching philosophy is to create a really strong connection with each of my players,” Hosch said.


Having a strong relationship with each player on the team serves more than one purpose. Having that connection creates trust between the coach and the players, which ultimately helps players buy-in to the culture that Hosch wants for her team, she said.


Establishing a culture can become more of a challenge when there are people from different backgrounds, which is exactly the case for the women’s golf team. The team only has two American-born players, as the rest of the team are from different countries.


Hosch said the different backgrounds help the team compete at a high-level through the respect and understanding they share with each other.


“I think it’s not realistic for me to think that we are all going to be best friends because we are different,” Hosch said. “However, the one thing that we do have on our team that I think is the reason why we were able to compete at a really high-level last year is that we have a great amount of respect for each other.”


The overall goal for the environment that Hosch is promoting is to aid the team in advancing far into the postseason after conference play. Hosch said that the easiest way to get to that point is through the team’s overall performance rather than just an individual player’s performance.


“It is almost incredibly difficult to advance after the postseason as an individual,” Hosch said.


She emphasized to her players that being a part of a team creates a positive environment and is their best chance at being successful in collegiate golf.


Perhaps the most important thing for Hosch is helping her team with the most difficult challenge of all: dealing with life, she said.


Although golf is viewed as a sport that mainly focuses on individual players, Hosch said that creating a team atmosphere is something that cannot be taught in the classroom.The importance of working with others and knowing how to deal with certain circumstances is something that the players are learning to understand.


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