LETTS, Iowa – Mallory Hohenadel is golfing with a free mind this season. In the past, she remembers put pressure on each shot and constantly worried about what her score would be at the end of the round.
That’s not the case this season, which has been a great thing for both her and the Louisa-Muscatine girls golf team. She has a nine-hole average of 49.5 in two meets to lead the Falcons to a pair of wins.
“The big thing with her is confidence,” Louisa-Muscatine coach Brennan Gerst said. “She has a really good golf swing but she has to believe she can do well and stay positive.”
“I (used to be) tense and told myself I had to get a good score or else I’m not good,” Hohenadel added. “Now (I) just play and have fun because I love golf.”
Hohenadel has been the meet medalist in both outings, shooting a 47 nine-hole score the first time out and a 52 in windy conditions against Lone Tree earlier in the week. Perhaps more importantly, Hohenadel showed confidence in a couple of tough moments where perhaps she wouldn’t have in the past.
“I (used to) have one bad hole and the rest of the meet would just go downhill,” Hohenadel said. “I’ve just been telling myself take one shot at a time.”
Monday was tough sledding the first five holes at Blue Top Ridge Course due to heavy wind. And then she had a “pretty bad hole” near the end of her round. Still, Hohenadel capped off the day on a positive note with a birdie.
“That felt really good and was a good ending for sure,” Hohenadel said. “That’s a really tough course but I played it last year so I remembered it well. I had to stay confident in myself because I knew it was going to be tough.”
Hohenadel’s golf career began as a freshman and she’s been in the varsity lineup for the Louisa-Muscatine girls golf program that entire time. She’s always been capable of low scores, as she had a 46 nine-hole score as a sophomore and 48 as a junior. She’s even managed a 44 on the back nine of an 18-hole meet.
“My drives have really helped me a lot,” Hohenadel said. “Ever since my freshman year that’s been my strongest club.”
As a result, she’s able to withstand more mistakes than others, Gerst says.
Even though softball is her first love – Hohenadel was a key contributor on the Falcons’ 2018 state title team – she always found plenty of time to develop her golf game once she committed to the sport as a freshman.
Whether it’s hitting the driving range with her brother, Austin Hohenadel, or practicing in her sizeable yard, she finds plenty of time for the sport despite playing softball “every weekend” in the summer, fall and spring.
Gerst believes Hohenadel has the potential to play college golf, but the senior will instead opt to attend Muscatine Community College next fall, making this spring her last season playing the sport competitively. So far it’s been her best one yet, as her 49.5 nine-hole average is four strokes lower than any other season.
Still, Gerst believes the best may be yet to come.
“I told her at the end of last season she’s capable of making it to state,” Gerst said. “Whether that happens I don’t know. I think if she works hard enough (she can) make it to the second round of regionals.
“And then at that point, you just never know.”