Beyond the Sand Trap with Audrey Yowell

Oct. 9, 2010


As one of the younger members of the 2010-11 Kansas women’s golf team, sophomore Audrey Yowell brings some youth and spark to a much-experienced roster. Transitioning from the high school to the college game is a big jump, but it can also be rewarding and gratifying, which explains Yowell’s optimistic approach.

“The most notable difference between the college game and other types of matches I play (in) is the team concept. Being a part of a team is fun and provides a chance to build relationships and memories. During the summer, I enjoy competing as an individual in stroke and match play tournaments. Experiencing so many types of competition is enjoyable and beneficial,” Yowell said.

Before her arrival in Lawrence in Fall 2009, Yowell experienced great success on the golf course. In high school, she was a four-year member of the McPherson High school boys’ golf team. As a junior, she led the boys’ squad to a league championships and a fourth-place finish at state.She was also a state medalist in 2007.

In addition to her high school golf achievements, she was also highly accomplished at the national level. Some of Yowell’s strongest showings came in 2005; winning the Plantations Junior Golf Tour’schampionship and being named player of the year.

Yowell chose KU because of the nurturing aspects of the program. “Coach O’Neil and Coach Trew made me feel so comfortable with the golf program. They came to my tournaments, answered my questions and offered me a scholarship. I was also impressed that KU had a sports nutritionist. KU really strives to offer everything we need to improve and succeed, and for me that stuck out the most,” she said.

In her first year of action at the collegiate level in 2009-10, Yowell played much of her competition as an individual. Most notable were her results at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational where she placed 51st, and playing separately at the White Wing JV Invitational, where she tied for second. She averaged 81.4 strokes per round on the year, a great freshman campaign that she will look to build on this year.

“Golf is one of those sports that does not have an off season. I continue to play tournaments, take lessons and work out all year round. If you don’t improve yourself and your skills all year long it is difficult to be competitive,” Yowell, who dedicated KU’s summer break to improving her game and maturing as a player, explained.

Personally, Yowell’s golf game remains reliable because of her solid work ethic and consistent routine before each match. She arrives at the course nearly two hours prior to teeing off, stretches and does some light range hitting. Yowell also enjoys catching up with teammates and friends from summer golf tours.

Yowell and her Jayhawk teammates are hoping early successes this season can make them contenders in the Big 12 Conference. “Our team is competitive, which is what you want out of any team. Qualifying has been really tight this year and has made us a better team. We won the Marilynn Smith tournament and placed second in Nebraska. I think it is reasonable to expect us to consistently compete for top honors this year,” Yowell said.