The thwack of a club striking a golf ball Tuesday afternoon marked the start of the athletic calendar for high schools in the Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys.
Righetti High’s girls golf team team beat Cabrillo and Lompoc at the Village Country Club in the first match of the season.
Righetti's team score of 278 edged out Cabrillo's 287. Lompoc finished with a score of 302.
The Warriors don’t have much returning varsity experience this season, but they are led by possibly the best golfer in the area, Sarah Fouratt. She was the individual medalist with a low score of 40 at the end of the nine-hole competition.
The team result wasn’t the main focus for any of the three head coaches. They each said that individual progress and shaking the cobwebs off the clubs was the first goal of the day.
"We kind of know now where we stand,” said Brian Tomooka, Righetti’s head coach. "Obviously we need to work on a lot of stuff to get better and compete in the PAC 8.
"But we had a couple girls — Delaney Nolan and Alex Thompson — where it was their first high school match. For the most part they all looked pretty comfortable."
Fouratt approached the course with a calm familiarity that Tomooka said the rest of the team is still developing as they get more opportunities to play varsity golf. Fouratt said she focused on "not getting caught up in anything and having fun."
The match also served as a push to get back into the right mindset for the high school season.
"It’s starting to get back into the process of playing with other people and getting to know people from other schools," she said.
Lompoc senior Kendall Martin said it was a friendly atmosphere on the course and an enjoyable way to start the season.
Martin provided the highlight for the Braves by scoring a personal record 52. Martin said she has scored lower on her own but never in a competitive round.
She ended her round with a birdie and had her eyes set on a prize as she walked to the clubhouse. Martin wears pins on her hat from each golf course she's played and said she was going to add one from the Village Golf Club.