La Jolla High girl’s golf team maturing under new leadership


By Phil Dailey

Staff writer

When La Jolla High School athletic director Bob Allen asked newly hired boys golf coach Bob Townsend to also coach the girls’ team he said, “Why not!”

And what a difference it has made. So far this season, the Vikings are off to a hot start with a 10-1 match record. The team recently lost its first match last week against Cathedral Catholic, ending the team’s run of 10-straight victories.

“The bottom line is this: I have inherited a golf team that has — for the last whatever years — been a little bit more of a club sport that anything else,” said Townsend, who is also the co-owner of the San Diego Golf Institute. “I finally had to say, ‘Parents, you have student-athletes.’ And they are going to be at all the functions that are going to prepare them for college.”

Including golf.

The team is led this season by senior Juliette Garay, who earned medalist honors in several of the team’s matches. The Vikings also have a promising freshman in Marisa Liang.

Despite the success, many on the team are still just learning to play the game and learning what it takes to have success and maintain a high level of golf. Townsend’s formula is simple. When the players on the team ask him what they can do to get better, he tells them, “Practice more.”

In doing so, the team has had seen girls who were shooting in the 60s now shoot in the 50s, and the girls who were shooting in the 50s are now shooting scores in the 40s.

Next season Townsend anticipates his team lows will be in the mid-40s, this year however; the team is carding some scores in the 50s.

“We are really just feeling out the season to see how it goes and next year I really think we’ll be talking about raising a banner,” Townsend said.