Glenbrook North’s Hong staying busyGlenbrook North's Ashley Hong is intent on improving her game this summer after helping the Spartans advance to sectionals last fall. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 22, 2011 2:40PM
Ashley Hong already can tell her offseason efforts are paying off.
The Glenbrook North junior worked hard on her short game at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park during the cold-weather months, and Hong sees her improvement around the greens.
“It’s the most important part of the game,” said Hong, who is scheduled to play at an IJGA tournament at Highland Park Country Club on Thursday. She will participate in another IJGA event next week at Cog Hill in Lemont. “I definitely took steps to focus on that part of my game.”
Hong said the early part of the tournament season has been challenging, considering the spring was wet and cold.
“I was kind of unprepared for the first tournament,” she recalled of a May event. “It was hard to practice and get ready. The other tournaments I did OK, but it’s been hard going from inside to outside. It will take some time to get used to it.”
Hong said she took a big step forward during her sophomore year. While she’s been playing since elementary school, Hong didn’t start competing in tournaments until the summer before her freshman year at Glenbrook North. She said that first season was a learning experience.
“I didn’t know what it was going to be like,” she said. “Last year I found a way to be more consistent and stronger emotionally. The competition can be intense.”
Hong posted a career-best 80 last season, but was most encouraged by limiting her blowups.
“I just became more consistent overall,” she said.
Glenbrook North was dominated by seniors last season. Four of the six in the regional lineup graduated, including top player Jill Saiki. At regionals, Hong carded an 86 to Saiki’s 84 to help the Spartans finish third and qualify for the sectionals.
“We are going to have a really young team this year,” Hong said. “Being a captain is great because I want to get to know everybody and lead them. I can do that now because I know how it goes.”