Zoey Bohnenstingl reflects on golf season ahead of state meet

Zoey Bohnenstingl poses with a sign made by her coach Mark Wisnewski celebrating her qualifying for state.

Zoey Bohnenstingl is many things, a golfer, a basketball player, but most importantly, she’s a competitor.

Bohnenstingl, a member of the Hankinson-Lidgerwood-Wyndmere (HLW) girls golf team, is headed to Carrington, North Dakota, Sept. 27-28, to compete in the Class B Girls Golf State Tournament.

Before she left for Carrington, she took the time to reflect on the season and contemplate what’s ahead of her.

She said her strength so far this season has been her driving and mid-range game. Her chipping and putting have improved this season.

She’s had a lot of time to improve and strengthen her skills as the team played a season in the spring, with plenty of tee-time in the summer before the fall season.

Her proudest accomplishment of the season was qualifying for state.

“On the last day at regionals, I was really hoping to qualify and I ended up doing it. It was a tough day to golf out there because there were 20 mile an hour winds. A lot of my friends that usually do really good didn’t. That day I got out of the region,” Bohnenstingl said.

Getting out of the region is no easy task, HLW Girls Golf Head Coach Mark Wisnewski said. The region is filled with stiff competition and some of the best golfers in the state.

Bohnenstingl was able to get out of the region through incremental progress throughout the season, Wisnewski said.

“She’s not going to state unless she makes the incremental progress that she’s made from week to week to week. She came in on the very first golf meet of the year at an invite at the 14th. She moved up seven spots in six weeks, one shot away from being number six,” he said.

That incremental improvement translates into the beating of expectations on the green. If Bohnenstingl is expected to place in a certain position, she’s going to do better.

“Zoey knows how to compete. I look for her to get even stronger on day two (of state). She’s ranked anywhere right now, 25 to 31 out of the 93 golfers going in. Now, that’s hard to project ... but Zoey and I have always been goal-oriented. We want to see if we can break that 31 to 25 where she’s projected right now,” Wisnewski said.

It’s the first time in many years that a girls golfer has appeared at state.

Now a junior, Bohnenstingl has been golfing since seventh grade. This is her first appearance at state.

Next year, she’s hoping to return to state. Both her and Wisnewski are looking forward to the team growing next year as new players come of age to join.

Wisnewski is excited for the leadership of Bohnenstingl and her teammate Gracie Kaczynski next year as they help elevate new members of the team.

He admires both Kaczynski and Bohnenstingl for their effort and improvement throughout the season. That admiration is mutual.

“He’s a good guy to work with. He doesn’t put any pressure on you. He’s always trying to help you get better. He’s got a lot of stories to tell. He just always wants the best for us. A part of me thinks he was a lot happier than I was to go to state,” Bohnenstingl said.

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