After a cold and soggy spring, a mysterious glowing orb appeared in the western sky last Wednesday afternoon. Woodinville’s Ellie Miyata looked up from the 7th green at Coyote Creek at Willows Run.
“That’s the sun!” Miyata said. “It’s really nice and hot. It’s different because we usually play in really cold weather. It’s nice when you’re not freezing to death!”
Through the years, several Falcon sports teams have been afflicted by small turnout. This year’s golf squad is one of them. A year ago, they had 14 members. But this spring there are only four girls. And on this day, two of the members, Nicole Carp and Bree Gummer, were out due to allergies and back issues, respectively. So only two players, Miyata and Malia Engle, competed.
The opponent was Eastlake, which was a dozen strong. Woodinville’s diminished roster meant the Falcons had to automatically forfeit (which they must do so each week regardless of opponent). So for the Falcon players, the experience comes down to enjoying golf for its own sake.
“Sometimes when I get here I don’t feel like playing golf,” Miyata said. “But then when you get into it it’s more fun.”
Freshman Malia Engle had never played golf before until three months ago.
“We have two PGA instructors in the family,” Engle said. “My grandpa and uncle both who live in Hawaii. And then I have my other uncle [Chris Engle] who lives up here. He’s an amazing golfer. He encouraged me to play. He’s the first person I ever went golfing with.”
Engle’s inexperience showed a few times on the course. But she has a gritty toughness about her and she showed willingness to learn from Woodinville coach Ruth Krochmalny. So it’s a good bet that by next year Engle’s game will be much improved.
“It’s definitely new,” Engle said. “Being the only freshman on the team, and being such a small team. And the weather being so bad [this spring]. Practices can be fun, and games can be so-so.”
LIVING UP TO ITS NAME
Woodinville was playing the Coyote Creek course. As Miyata and Engle approached the sixth green, they turned their heads in unison toward a tree-covered swampy area in the distance. The frenzied howling of unseen coyotes could be heard.
“That was really interesting,” Engle said. “There is usually a lot of wildlife on the courses we play on. I think it was at Lynnwood where we had deer walking across the fairway. That was pretty to see. Deer, elk, coyotes, geese and ducks. It’s always pretty to see the wildlife.”