FREEDOM (WFRV) – Monday and Tuesday, the WIAA girls state golf tournament will get back to familiar stomping grounds in Madison.
And for Freedom’s Callie Berg, it’s a return to her comfort zone.
The senior finished tied for 17th at University Ridge as a sophomore, and after a one-year departure to Blackwolf Run in Kohler, the two-day tournament is back at its home in the state capital.
“I think it’s a very scorable course, so I just have to think of this as my round, my game,” Berg said. “I can have a bad score on one hole and then come back on the other hole with like a birdie or something and I just need to keep that mentality in my head.”
“You need to play smart,” Freedom golf coach Jay Abitz said. “You need to take what the golf course gives you. That golf course will hurt you when you make even the smallest mistakes so you’ve got to kind of keep it in play and keep it moving forward and roll with the punches.”
Rolling with the punches is something Berg does effectively. She’s stayed grounded in her golf game through a tremendous senior season, and carrying the momentum off of a sixth-place finish at Blackwolf Run last year, she captured conference and regional titles as a senior.
“I think I’ve been again just focused on relaxing,” Berg said. “Just knowing that I can do it and I can put out good scores, and I just try to say bogeys are good instead of making it a bigger score than it is.”
This season, that mentality is keeping her scores low – but the real challenge comes at University Ridge this week, not so much looking for gold, but simply for a better finish than last year.
“I just have had a goal every year to just get better,” Berg said. “So last year I wanted to be in the top 10 and now this year I want to be in the top 5, and I think not just saying I want to be first, I want to just finish well and just do what I know I can do.”
“You know she’s been planning for this for many years,” Abitz said. “She wanted to make state as a freshman and has done since then, so her experience level and her mental preparation is certainly something that gives her an advantage at this course and she’s been there and so, her preparation is a big part of her key to success and we’re looking forward to see what she does.”
And if she plays those 36 holes how she wants to, Berg will finish her high school career on top – regardless of a medal.
“That would mean everything,” Berg said. “I mean that would just be so cool ending off my senior year with the best round being at state.”