Kyle Woodle walked into a pretty good situation.
After coaching boys golf at Conway High, she took over the girls team this fall. She inherited a roster with a star senior and standout junior.
“I came in at the right time I’d say,” she said.
But in a region with powerhouses Carolina Forest and St. James, the No. 9 and No. 7 teams, respectively, in the 5A championship last year, she knows the Tigers don’t have an easy path.
Still, the seven-member team has weapons of its own.
Leading the Tigers is their lone senior, Lora Ledbetter. She finished seventh individually in the 2019 state tournament.
A recent Coker University commit, Ledbetter started playing in seventh grade. Although she credits her parents with helping her pursue her dream, her golf career took off after a local instructor spotted her practicing and told her he was impressed.
“[He] said that just from my swing and dedication that he could tell I had the talent to win a state championship,” she said.
Conway’s No. 2 is junior Taylor Reaves, who has been impressing Woodle with her play in recent tournaments. She finished 22nd in last year’s state tournament. Ledbetter, the captain, said the team needs some practice to bring everyone’s game up.
“We are building our golf program,” she said.
Woodle said her team’s success will ultimately be up to them.
“We’ve got the potential to do really well this season, but it’s all up in the air,” she said. “It just depends on what they do when they get out there and how much effort they put in.”
Like every other sport, even golf is not immune to COVID-19 protocols and regulations. But Woodle said her players are handling the situation with humor.
“They do really well with it,” she said. “I was like, ‘Look, you’ve got to social distance.’ They’re like, ‘That’s fine. I’ll just hit my ball farther than anyone else’s.’ I’m like, ‘Alright, attagirl. That’s the way to do it.’ But they’ve been really positive with it. … I tell them just find positivity despite your circumstances. They’ve really done that well.”