Bison Athletics

Q&A With Women’s Head Golf Coach Matt Johnson

Who do you see being a standout performer this season? Do you see anyone taking a significant step?

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Q. Who do you see being a standout performer this season? Do you see anyone taking a significant step?

A. That’s an interesting question because last year, we were the most balanced team we’ve ever had. I mean, Leah Skaar was one that was probably a little above the rest. And she’s had a really good summer. But we had six players that had a stroke average within about one shot of each other. So, it’s the most balanced group we’ve ever had. For example, I think our number two player by stroke average for the season never led us in a tournament all year. I think that balance will still be one of the things that will really help us this year because we have that depth. I think Leah will certainly have another strong year. I think Maddie Herzog, who’s coming back for her fifth COVID year here, has always been a steady player for us, but she’s worked really hard this summer and she’s had a really good summer.


Q. What can you tell us about your new incoming golfers for the year?

A. They’re very capable. We have Madi Hicks. She finished third or fourth in the Minnesota State Tournament and she just won the Minnesota State Junior Championship a couple of weeks ago. She has just played exceptionally the last few months. The other one is Cora Larson. She is from Alexandria. She is kind of right there Madi’s coattails so to speak. Madi was first at the Junior Championship and Cora was sixth. I think they can both come in and have an impact and they’re both just going to add to our depth.

Q. It seems like there are always technological advancements being made in the world of golf training. Have you embraced any new training methods this offseason?

A. I’m not really looking to do anything that different from what we’ve done in the past. We kind of already have all the tools we need. like our track man system, everybody uses it. I think some kind of take to that way of training more than others do. I’m sure they’re into the numbers and actually digging into the data of what you’re doing versus just being out there and focusing on how the golf ball is flying and then transferring that back. So there are the learners that just kind of do it the natural way out there, by feel and then there are people that really get into these numbers. Everyone’s kind of a little bit different. We have some players that will spend tons of time here. Some do it the old fashioned way. Our job as coaches is to figure out how they learn best and how how they want to learn. Sometimes you can kind of help them by introducing them to new things, certainly. But sometimes that isn’t always the way to go about it either. It’s really it’s like coaching on the golf course. You have to learn what each player likes. Some want you to help them read putts. Others want you to just walk down the fairway with them and help them pick clubs. Everyone kind of takes to coaching a little bit differently. It’s the same thing with training. We try to introduce them to a bunch of different things and then kind of figure out how they learn best.

Q. Your team continues to win awards for their academic success. How do you go about fostering an environment for that?

A. fostering an environment for that? There isn’t a lot I have to do. High-level athletes, especially those in Division I, for the most part, are very disciplined, very committed. They’re pretty good students. I rarely recruit a player who’s got the skills necessary for golf that isn’t also an outstanding student. I think it just kind of all goes together. You have to be committed and focused and dedicated and you have to manage your time well. I look at academics for sure but it’s usually not a concern with the players we’re recruiting. And once they get here, they kind of just handle that themselves. They come in and they know that the expectations are high, both on and off the course and they just do a great job.

Q. What do you think allows you to be a Division I golf coach?

A. I didn’t play Division I and I always think because I wasn’t quite at their level when I was a player I’m more familiar with when they’re struggling with something. I think I understand the mental parts as well. I’ve been through all the mental struggles of golf both as a student-athlete and then afterwards in my life playing. I understand mentally when they’re struggling with something. I think I’m equipped to help them with that.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

A. I’m really excited for this year. It’s a unique team. We have a fifth-year senior but we have no actual seniors. All of our players are going to be freshmen, sophomores or juniors. So you could say we’re a young team, but we’re also a really experienced team. And I think our freshmen will be in the mix. I think we’re ready to have a really good year. I’m always excited for the season, but this year, I think I just kind of have that little bit of extra excitement about potentially what we could do this year because we do have a lot of depth. If we can get everyone in a good spot at the same time, I think we will be very capable.

2022 Women’s Golf Schedule

Sep 6-7
NDSU Fall Invitational
Fargo, ND
Sep 12-13
Hobble Creek Invitational
Springville, UT
Sep 19-20 Jackrabbit Invitational
Brookings, SD
Oct 3-4
Pat Lesser-Harbottle Invitational
Tacoma, WA
Oct 24-26
Rainbow Wahine Invitational
Oahu, HI
Feb 27-28
Grand Canyon Invitational
Phoenix, AZ
Mar 9-11
Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational
Phoenix, AZ
Mar 18-19
Red Rocks Invitational
Sedona, AZ
Mar 27-29
Golf Week/Any Given Tuesday Intercollegiate
Pawleys Island, SC
Apr 10-11
Stampede at The Creek
Omaha, NE
Apr 23-25
Summit League Championship
Lincoln, NE
Q&A With Women’s Head Golf Coach Matt Johnson
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