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Girls Junior Varsity Golf, Girls Varsity Golf · South Christian’s Natalie Samdal named the Grand Rapids Press girls golfer of the year


By Peter J. Wallner | pwallner@mlive.com
on December 05, 2016 9:00 AM

If what Natalie Samdal accomplished this past year is any indication, the South Christian golfer has a bright future ahead.

Samdal came into the Sailors’ program as a freshman and averaged about 96 shots a round. This year, she improved that to 83.7 and had the best finish among Grand Rapids-area golfers with a third in the Division 3 state finals at Bedford Valley Golf Club in Battle Creek.

Samdal has been selected the MLive/Grand Rapids Press player of the year for girls golf.

Another indicator of her improvement: As a freshman, Samdal shot 96-97-193 in the state finals at Forest Akers West. This year she went 81-79-160, a remarkable 33-shot improvement.

Natalie Samdal(MLive file)

“She was like that all season but in the state finals she really did well,” said Sailors coach Ben Cook.

Her low nine-hole total was a 36 at Thousand Oaks Golf Club to earn medalist honors at the OK Green Conference meet.

That kind of improvement doesn’t just come in one area.

“Just everything,” Cook said. “She was good in ball striking and she does not that, but the improvement has just been in every part of her game.”

It helps that her parents are good golfers, and that Samdal knows the importance of preparation.

“She is very focused and very prepared,” Cook said. “She doesn’t leave any stone unturned. She takes notes, she knows her stats and she knows what club she is going to hit each hole. She already thinks a good game.”