Instead of using a driving range, Ridgeview girls golf team members are hitting foam golf balls over lunch tables, which serve as distance markers, in the school commons area.
They are chipping into upside-down umbrellas and putting in the school’s career center.
With Central Oregon golf courses snowed under, practice has been this way for weeks, said Ravens coach Guy Millington. He jokes that being a physical education teacher requires him to be creative in coming up with activities.
“We make the best we can of what we got, and we just go with it,” he said.
Two Ridgeview tournaments last week at Crooked River Ranch and Eagle Crest Resort (where the Ravens normally practice), were canceled. An event scheduled for Wednesday in Prineville was hanging in the balance as of Monday, though some varsity players plan to play Tuesday at a tournament in The Dalles.
“Our best chance is, hopefully, after spring break (March 25-19), we can see grass for the first time,” Millington said.
While some Redmond and Ridgeview spring teams have been able to play games west of the Cascades, the Ravens don’t have any girls golf tournaments scheduled in the Willamette Valley until the April 25 state preview at Quail Valley in Banks.
Once the Ravens do get on the course, Millington expects them to field a strong team. They had 14 players come out, more than enough for varsity and junior varsity squads.
“Nobody is a lights-out, scratch golfer,” he said. “Our goal is to break 100. I think that if we have four girls in the 90s, we have a chance to somewhat compete at state.”
That is a lofty goal, since the Ravens haven’t qualified for state as a team since 2015, when they finished fifth. But former district rivals Summit and Bend, which finished first and second in Class 5A last season, have moved on to Class 6A. Pendleton which finished fifth at state in 2018, was the highest finishing team that is in this year’s Special District 1, which combines the IMC and Northwest Oregon Conference. Teams joining from the Northwest Oregon league that reached state last year are Wilsonville and La Salle Prep, which finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the eight-team tournament.
The Ravens have two seniors, including Ayla Adkins, who was their second lowest scorer at the 2018 district tournament, with a two-day score of 102-112—214. Other returnees from the district tournament team are Alex Chastain (113-115—228) and Logan Dietz (126-125—251).
Ridgeview’s team score of 425-426—842 put them seventh in the then-11-team district.
Millington said the Ravens are capable of having four players shoot 90 in a round, which adds up to a 360 total. A two-day score of 720 would have finished third at state last season, behind the two teams that are now in 6A.
“We’re not there yet, but that’s our hope,” he said.
Working out indoors has some advantages, said Millington, who is in his sixth season with Ridgeview’s girls golf team, the fourth as head coach.
Players do exercises like yoga at the beginning of practice and get to watch YouTube videos to help them break down their swings and putting.
“It’s really fun,” Chastain, now a junior, said of the practices. “It helps us be creative and utilize our surroundings.”
Still, they are looking forward to getting outside.
“I want to prove that Ridgeview can make it to state,” Dietz, a sophomore said.
— Reporter: 541-548-2186, email@example.com