When you hear the word Vols, you are probably thinking about Tennessee Vos football and for good reason. The lady Vols of course were a national power house in basketball for years. The truth is the Tennessee Vols men’s and women’s team excel in multiple sports.
The Lady Vols, however, has a spirited history in golf and is turning the sport from being male-dominated to a game that inspires women and fans everywhere to get up and play. Women's golf has a long history of being a sport that hasn't gained much attention, but it has rapidly gained a following due to the dedication and passion of the Vols players.
From the very beginning, the Lady Vols were showing fans that golf was a great sport to follow. The Vols compete of course Division 1 in the NCAA, which is the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The golf team competes in the Southeastern college for golf as the University of Tennessee does for all sports.
The team started in 1993 and surprised everyone when they began hard and robust, setting records in their very first year. Their very first WGCA All American was Abby Pearson, and she also made the SEC freshman of the year.
Another freshman who burst onto the scene in a big way was Nathalie Mansson in the 2008 season, instantly gaining the All-Freshman team honors, the All-East Region, and the All-SEC Second Team. Due to the talent and skill of the team, the UT Lady Vols golf team has appear in the NCAA regional since the team started.
At the time of this writing, they rotate between over a dozen golf courses that are located in Tennessee under the coaching of Judi Pavon, who has been with the team since 2000. She has been a genuinely fantastic force for the team, leading them to over a dozen regional appearances and over ten NCAA championships. Throughout the illustrious history, thirteen different Lady Vols golf team members have been recognized as All American awards, twenty nine times.
As of late, both the Lady Vols and the men's team share a practice facility that is both high tech and functional, letting them practice throughout the year. The best part for the teams is that it is right across from the UT Medical Center.
In just a few months, they are expecting to add a clubhouse for the teams as well to ensure they are in the best shape possible to compete. When the new millennia came into play, the Vols found that they were relying more on their seniors that they had had to in the past, and the women had no problem rising to the challenge and helping lead their team to more wins and more records for the Vols to be proud of.
Though the team has had struggles finding consistency in the past, they have been able to work through their issues with the dedicated spirit of their coach and the unfailing heart of their team. As the 2000s rolled in, the team not only managed to raise their freshman record average (thanks to Nathalie Mansson). They also began earning top placements in route to the national championship tournament that they had worked so hard to get to.
In continuing with newcomers' tradition gaining attention, Micheala Williams stood up and demanded recognition by having three carded birdies on her final four holes of the SEC Championship. (A birdie is a term that means a score of one-under-par on a hole. Par is the number of strokes that you are expected to get on each hole) Micheala scoring three is a feat that is very difficult to achieve, and because she did, she moved up four spots during the championship.
The Lady Vols have also produced successes after college, and their alumni are some of the most popular women. One prime example Young-A Yang is one of the most decorated golfers in the history of the Lady Vols, and she came back to her alma matter to be a volunteer assistant coach.
When she isn't traveling on the LPGA tour, she's helping the Vols as a mentor and helping them transition from college golf to professional golf. Young-A has both records and accolades under her belt, and in addition to this, she has placed in the top ten placements as a professional golfer six times. In her career, she has had two victories, and it is believed that she is going to be an excellent choice as a volunteer coach to help nurture women into being the professional golfers they long to be.
With our country currently facing the pandemic, our Lady Vols golf season was cut short, but the team still found success. In the spring slate, they even achieved their best finish!
They were able to have competed in three tournaments, and when the season was called to a halt, fans and the team alike were discouraged, but hopeful that the country would recover soon. When the epidemic is over, this team will be back in great form and enticing new fans to come out and see them play.
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