Danny White played on the PGA Tour for a number of years and recently became a teacher. Now he hopes to make a splash in his first year as the Peninsula High School girls golf coach.
White, who moved to Gig Harbor from California, said he wants to build a strong program that will compete for years to come.
“We really want to become a team and start building a foundation of a good team every year,” he said. “I think in the past, whoever comes in would just contribute. We want to just build the future.”
Senior co-captains Hannah Nickleson and Olivia Fallingham will lead the Seahawks. The team finished near the bottom of the Class 3A South Puget Sound League last year and wants to turn that around.
“We want to work as a team better this year,” Nickleson said. “We have a lot of new players and some returners from last year. We have a new coach, and we’re working to build our program up.”
The team will need a big season from Fallingham, who said she’s been working on every aspect of her game.
“My personal goal is really just to improve my golf game,” Fallingham said.
Although coaches are limited with what they can do in an official capacity during the offseason, they can create some type of offseason program for golfers, since the summer months provide the best opportunities.
“Because of my golf background, I’m building them an offseason program,” White said. “I’m basically building them a workout routine — weights, using golf-specific exercises, fixing weaknesses in the swing, how many times they need to play per week, etc.”
White said an essential part of coaching golf is building a harmony between the upper body and lower body.
“I teach from the ground up,” he said. “We have to make sure the foundation of their legs is the best, and then go from there with the upper body.”
The team also should get some contributions from freshman Haley O’Neill, who said the team will look to work on its cohesiveness.
“We want to stop being individuals and be more of a team,” she said. “I think that’s the first step to improving.”
Nickelson said the team displays an eagerness to get better.
“I think that everyone on this team is really willing to learn,” she said. “We have some new girls this year who have really shown improvement and are working their way up.”Reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.