Women’s golf understands the importance of the fall season

As the season winds down, Iowa women’s golf is well aware of the importance of fall tournaments.


Megan Nagorzanski

Iowa’s Manuela Lizarazu follows her putt during the Diane Thomason Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on September 30th, 2019. The Hawkeyes placed 1st overall.

Cassandra Buchholz, Sports Reporter

Every Hawkeye sports team understands the grind of practice and competition during their average four-month season. Golf is one of the unique sports with two separate seasons, and the Iowa women’s golf team knows the importance of each.

“The fall is super important for us, especially when you are looking at weather and those types of conditions,” head coach Megan Menzel said. “We’re just trying to take advantage of a lot of playing and getting out and competing as much as we possibly can.”

As the team’s reigning MVP, sophomore Manuela Lizarazu has seen the differences and significance of both seasons and has grown along the way.

“The fall season is hard preparation for spring,” Lizarazu said. “We normally have more tournaments in the spring, but a lot of our fall season tournaments are good and competitive, so we always train a lot and give it time to try new things for the upcoming spring tournaments.”

Lizararu started her Hawkeye golf career last year at the Branch Law Firm Invitational, posting a 54-hole total of 230 (+14) and tying for 70th.

She completed the spring season as the Iowa’s MVP, recording a career-best 18-hole (68), 36-hole (141), and 54-hole (214, -2) at the Bruzzy Challenge in April.

She sees more improvements for herself going into the end of fall season.

RELATED: Men’s golf completes fall season

“The transition between freshman to sophomore year is always hard,” Lizararu said. “I’ve put the most amount of work into my long game more than my short game, so I’m currently changing my swing — as the fall is the best time to do it. I’m a player that goes for everything and constantly getting the ball to the hole. Now, I’m learning use more tools and get prepared to have more options.”

Freshman Jacquie Galloway was a three-time high school individual state champion that led her high school to a state title in her sophomore year and was a four-time participant in the USGA Girls’ Junior Championship.

She notes that having a strong team camaraderie from the start and getting the chance to jump into golf at the beginning of the school year are the building blocks to success.

“I have this group of girls to push me and be the best version, the best golfer, the best student, and show me where I can grow,” Galloway said. “I can feel that if we waited until the spring to get golfing and compete, the team wouldn’t be where we are at on the course or in the locker room.”

Despite the Big Ten and NCAA Championships taking place during the spring season, Menzel doesn’t let that stop the determination in the fall.

“[The fall] is so important for your ranking,” he said. “Once you establish your ranking and yourself in the fall, it’s so hard to improve from there.”

The Hawkeyes complete the fall season in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, at the Battle at the Beach Tournament, hosted by Texas Christian University, on Nov. 1.

Iowa starts back up again with the beginning of its spring season Feb. 16 in New Orleans at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, hosted by Tulane.