Allison Schultz: A Visit to Coach's Alma Mater
We loaded up our van Thursday afternoon for our trip to Bloomington, IN preparing ourselves for a special trip to Coach's alma mater. We immediately were given all of her notes on the golf course for us to copy into our own yardage books. These were very helpful, because no one knows this course better than she does. We were ready to put this advantage to good use and come out on top. After a seemingly long drive through the beautiful Indiana countryside, we stopped for dinner with a special guest. Joining us for dinner that evening was Sam Carmichael, former head golf coach at IU, who coached our very own Coach Hollingsworth. (For more information on Coach Carmichael, see below). We received some very useful advice from this exceptionally accomplished amateur golfer and PGA tour veteran. We also heard some fascinating stories on Coach back in her college days, learning that she was one of the hardest workers he ever coached. That must be where we get it! We even talked him into getting dessert with us, which I believe he enjoyed very much. Thanks so much for spending time with us Coach Carmichael!
We finally arrived at our final destination of B-town (as the natives call it), unloaded the van and went straight to bed with an early practice round scheduled for the morning. I could tell it was going to be an awesome day when the sunshine came out, and the course seemed to be in beautiful shape. Stopping at the putting green to get in a few putts, Kate seemed to think she would need her driver, taking way too long to realize she had the wrong club. Were you awake Hoops?! Another funny moment occurred when the Marshall coach commented on how muscular our legs looked (thanks to Allie Clifton!) and that her team needed to start doing more lunges with sandbags. Out on the course, we got in our shots and took down plenty of notes, preparing ourselves as best as we could for the tournament play ahead of us.
Coach brought in another special visitor for the practice round: her sister, Holly. She joined us for lunch at Yogi's, a cute grill on campus that we all decided needs to open another location in Toledo, and thanks to her, we were in for even more special celebrity treatment on campus. Our tour of IU's athletic facilities began in Cook Hall (the recently opened practice basketball facility), where we were first introduced to our "tour guide" Chad, a manager of the men's basketball team. The building truly is an exquisite tribute to the famed history of Hoosier basketball. Pictures of unforgettable moments posted throughout brought Coach back to her great experiences spent as an IU student-athlete. We even made a stop into the practice gym, where we encountered some of the stars of the Sweet 16 and newly ranked preseason No. 1 men's team (including Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Jordan Hulls, Derek Elston and Christian Watford.) They had a fun time showing off their golf swings to us and requesting to play us on the Par-3 course. We learned all about wingspans and that Kate Hoops has a "+3." (Kate, if your last name isn't enough of a sign you should have played basketball, this should convince you!)
After a fun time with the guys and a stop in their locker room (that includes their very own hot tub), we walked through the underground tunnel (yes, an underground tunnel) to Assembly Hall, which is their main gym. We ran into a large amount of cheerleaders (cheerleading try-outs) who all seemed confused why we weren't breaking out into back-flips and the splits. We stopped in the equipment room and Georgie found a quarter on the floor, tried to pick it up, only to find it stuck to the floor. The equipment managers got a good laugh and told her to sign the "Quarterback Club" list. We got Coach on the joke as well. We headed out into the main concourse to find Coach's Big 10 Championship plaque and Mental Attitude Award, meanwhile spotting some old pictures of Coach and might I say that was quite the long, curly (almost "fro-like") hairstyle you had back in the day! Next, we were on our way over to Memorial Stadium.
We walked through the football offices and were ready to leave, thinking we had seen it all. But, as good luck would have it, we were sitting in the lobby and all of a sudden Kevin Wilson (head football coach) walks through and strikes up conversation with us. Coach casually asks him to go on the field, and he responds with "No problem!" He brought us through his own office and talked with us a bit. We took our usual pictures down on the field, then on our way out walked through the Athletic Student Life section of the building. We saw their version of Larimer, weight room, and various classrooms. We hopped back in the van and Coach completed our tour with a driving tour of campus and downtown Bloomington, stopping for dinner at Jonko's Little Zagreb. Who knew it was socially acceptable to walk around in a Freddy Krueger mask in Bloomington?! (We saw a guy with one on and no one was even reacting!)
Overall, it was a great day. Got to play golf on a gorgeous course in beautiful weather, toured amazing facilities that make you proud to be an NCAA student-athlete and ate a lovely dinner with great teammates. Game plan was set for the next day to go low and compete.
We woke up to thunderstorms and showers; little did we know what that would mean for the rest of the day. The morning start time kept getting delayed, so luckily we were able to stay at the hotel and keep comfortable. The team spent the time efficiently (if that means watching SportsCenter and on Facebook, but hey our backpacks were in the van!). Eventually we got the word that play would begin at 11:15, so we headed to the course, got a quick warm-up in, did our new team cheer, and went out to our starting holes. After a great two-and-a-half holes, the sirens blew and we had to mark our balls and head to shelter due to severe weather. We waited out the first wave of rain in the van (the newly renamed Rocket Reba) and were told play was delayed until 2:15, so we headed back to the hotel to study (we got out the books and laptops and got to work this time.) At 3:00 we were told that play had been suspended for the day. After 11 delays for the day, the tournament was officially changed from a 54-hole format to only 18 holes. Dinner that night was at Memorial Stadium for all the teams. We filled our plates with delicious pasta and salad. All of the seniors from the participating teams were honored with a rose, with our own Georgie and Nam being part of that group.
Sunday morning already looked much better weather-wise and we were excited for the day to come. We would be resuming play from where we left off the previous day. Another tournament brings another pre-round dance party in the parking lot and we were ready to go for the final 16 holes left. With the change in format, this tournament turned into a sprint, rather than a marathon, giving more teams a chance to win. The tension was high among all.
Unfortunately, things did not turn out well for the Rockets. We all started out quite well and held a high standing for majority of the round, but shots slipped through our hands towards the end. This finish stings because we all wanted to perform well for Coach at her beloved IU. Also, since we had played so well at the last few tournaments, we had exceptionally high expectations for ourselves. The only thing that we can do now is learn from the mistakes we made and work hard during the week-and-a-half before the MAC Championships.
This "young" team is gaining more and more experience each week, and it is evident that we can do it. We can be successful. All it takes is for everyone to play their role, and a little luck every now and then doesn't hurt either. With youth comes resiliency, which means we will not let this poor finish bring us down. Back to the chalkboard we will go, bringing nothing but our "A" games with us to Fishers, IN for MACs. Thanks to all the Rockets fans who came out to support us. We appreciate it so much. A special shout out to Mrs. Hollingsworth for the absolutely delicious chocolate-chip cookies she sent home with us! See you all at MACs!
'Til next time Rockets fans!
Allison Schultz is a junior from Cincinnati, OH who is majoring in exercise science.
23 years as Head Women's Golf Coach of Indiana University
7 Big Ten Championships Titles
50 All-Big Ten Players
1994 Gladys Palmer Award Winner
Seven-time Big Ten Coach of the Year
1987 NGCA Coach of the Year
Four-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year
17 appearances at NCAA Championship
7 Big Ten Players of Year
2 Big Ten Freshmen of Year
Four players on LPGA Tour: Michelle Redman, Angela Buzminski, Erika Wicoff, Natalie Tucker
Nine years as Head Men's Coach at Indiana University
Two-time Coach of the Year
Two Big Ten Titles
Shaun Micheel-PGA Champion
1997 Section PGA Teacher of the Year
Seven U.S. Opens
PGA Tour player-Seven years
Indiana Golf Hall of Fame
In 1960, Sam Carmichael became only the second person in Indiana golf history to win the Indiana Boys' State Junior, the Indiana State Amateur, and the Indiana State Open Championships in the same year. In 1961, he was defeated by Jack Nicklaus at the United States Amateur in the quarter-finals which earned him a berth in the Masters. Sam was named the Indiana PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1999.