Tarnow keeps teaching

It's hard to believe fall is here and that means girls' golf season has begun.

Today, we take a look at Newport Harbor High and Sage Hill.

Up first on the tee is Newport.

Coach Scott Tarnow said this season will be as much about instilling the finer points of the game such as rules and etiquette as how the girls swing the driver or five-iron.

Tarnow, in his 12th season, said the trend in recent years has been girls enter the program with less experience in the game as in prior seasons.

"We will be competitive," Tarnow said. "[The Sunset] League has really good girls."

Tarnow said two of his strongest players will be senior Charlotte Skjonsby and junior Tara Hanna.

"[Skjonsby] is very competitive; she works extremely hard," Tarnow said. "[Tara] is very cerebral. She's got to see incredible teams in the past."

Tarnow is referring to the Newport teams that went a combined 36-1 a few years ago.

Joining Skjonsby and Hanna will be seniors Kate Lamas, Lauren Willard, and Alley Damser, while Amelia Thomas and freshman Bowie Viloria round out the lineup.

The challenge will be getting the players to fulfill their potential, Tarnow said.

"If you go and play lousy, that is not as rewarding [as if you lost but played well]," Tarnow said.

The Tars were 3-2 through Wednesday.

Farther inland, Sage Hill Coach Nicole Middaugh has senior Erin Hong and junior Kathleen Huang, who have been varsity players for four and three years, respectively. Hong comes off a first-team All-Academy League season.

The Lightning also has juniors Merrill Berkowitch, Angela Choi and Christian Liu with sophomores Cindy Qi and Mariah Wilson, and freshmen Paula Gardner and Stephanie Cho.

Middaugh has focused practices on putting and course management, such as "when to hit driver."

"Short putts are key," Middaugh said. "They'll get in a line and putt 20 three-footers. I want the girls to feel pressure, so doing something that recreates that on the golf course is important. It's fun pressure."

Sage is 4-1.


Irvine's Oak Creek Golf Club will hold separate competitions for driving, chipping, and putting for players aged 7 to 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The event is free.

Boys and girls will compete against one another in the chipping and putting categories, but will swing away in separate divisions for the driving event. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each age group (10-and-under, 14-and-under, and 17-and-under).

Contact the facility at (949) 653-5300.

BRYCE ALDERTON is the golf writer for the Daily Pilot. He can be reached at balderto78@yahoo.com.

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