Sophomores Kailey Bass and Makena Mehlert discuss the success Peninsula golf has had in 2019
May 1, 2017.
The day wasn’t just another spring Monday, at least not for the Peninsula High School girls golf team. On that day, the Seahawks lost, 117-99, to North Kitsap.
And they haven’t lost since.
In the South Sound Conference, they’ve gone 14-0 in the two years since that loss, including a 6-0 record this season. Overall, the Seahawks are 21-1 and 19-1 in league play since joining the SSC in 2017.
Junior co-captain Chloe Duttry said the team’s winning streak doesn’t add any pressure to the team when they compete.
“I think there might be pressure, and maybe the coaching staff may feel some fear, but inside all of us, we know we’re gonna win,” Duttry said. “We’ve played with all these other teams before and we’ve played with all of these girls outside of league. Our scores show when you compare them.”
Under the modified Stableford scoring system, the team competes in nine-hole matches and the points are totaled at the end of the match. In 2019, the Seahawks have averaged 130.2 points per match and winning matches by an average margin of 41.5 points in six league matches.
The team is made up of players of all levels and skills, said coach Hunter Bass.
“Since I have been the coach and involved with this team, I have seen joy and accomplishment in our players eyes,” said Bass, who’s been the coach at PHS since 2014.
“We have players of all levels and skills. Sydney (Pifer) smiled from ear-to-ear after hitting her first solid golf shot and is now hooked on the game, to our top level players placing in statewide events, our teams success is shared with one another.
“Each player does their job and our wins are a true testament to their focus and efforts on the course.”
Peninsula finished fourth in the team competition of the 2018 3A state tournament and lost only one senior, Riley Bass (Hunter’s daughter), who is now playing for North Dakota.
The Seahawks are led by sophomores Kailey Bass, Riley’s sister, and Makena Mehlert. Each finished among the best in the state last year as freshmen, with Bass placing 21st and Mehlert finishing 19th.
Having known each other since kindergarten, Bass’ and Mehlert’s chemistry has helped them on the course.
“Makena and I play really well together because we have separate games so when we’re paired together we can help each other out on shots and stuff,” Kailey Bass said.
Said Mehlert: “We’ll give each other tips, and even sometimes some tough love, I can say, ‘Kailey, I know you’re better than this.’ If it’s a bad hole, we’ll just say to each other, ‘OK, you’re going to birdie the next hole.’ It’s very supportive.”
The Seahawks have depth with Duttry and co-captain Lauren Severn, who’s been a quick learner. She made the state tournament last season in just her second year playing golf.
There are also a talented group of freshmen who are pushing to be in the top four starters that accumulate points in nine-hole matches. Sydney Pifer, Hailee Hutton and Nyah Dayton are relatively new to the game and are already having success.
Making it all work is Hunter Bass and assistant Cheryl Graff, who balance their careers in addition to helping out the team during the season.
Bass is an Alaskan Airlines pilot and Graff is a nurse practitioner. Bass flies on the weekends and returned from a trip to San Diego on Monday morning just in time to make the team’s practice at Canterwood Golf and Country Club.
It’s busy four- to five-month stretch to make the schedules line up but they make it work.
“With the support of our AD Ross Filkens and (athletic secretary) Angie Wehmeier and sponsors our program has tremendous support,” Bass said. “Canterwood, owned by ClubCorp, has been so gracious to donate their course for over 20 years providing a first class experience for our girls.”