The summer has come and gone, which means the 2023-24 college golf season is here.
Last season, the record books were rewritten. Rose Zhang had a historical season at Stanford, but it was Wake Forest that took home the team championship, winning the first national title in school history at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Now, there’s no shortage of storylines to follow as we head into the 2023-24 season, including Wake Forest looking to reload and repeat, a former national champion is finally healthy and ready to shine again and a couple teams looking to make their push to the top.
Here’s a look at some of the top storylines for the 2023-24 women’s college golf season.
Is Rachel Heck primed for a big return?
The most intriguing player in women’s college golf heading into the senior is Rachel Heck, the rising senior at Stanford. In 2021, Heck won the ANNIKA Award as Player of the Year and was the Pac-12, Regional and NCAA individual champion. Then she dealt with sickness and injuries her sophomore and junior years, and Zhang stole the spotlight during her stellar run.
Now, after a run to the semifinals at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, Heck’s confidence is back, and her game is still there. She’s primed to have another stellar year, similar to her freshman season. The stage is Heck’s to take, and it’ll be intriguing to see how her senior year plays out.
How will Wake Forest replace key pieces?
Wake Forest went on a special run last year, winning the first title in school history. However, they’ll have an uphill climb to repeat after losing a pair of season vets in Emilia Migliaccio and Lauren Walsh.
All-American Rachel Kuehn is back, along with Mimi Rhodes and Carolina Lopez-Chacarra. Incoming freshman Macy Pate is expected to be a big contributor to the lineup. Wake Forest will remain one of the nation’s top teams, but its depth will determine how far the Demon Deacons can go.
Is it LSU’s time to shine?
What a summer it was for LSU golfers. Ingrid Lindblad rose to No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and earned the Mark H. McCormack Medal signifying the honor. Latanna Stone was the runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. Aine Donegan made a memorable run in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach. Taylor Riley also had a strong run at Bel-Air.
Carla Tejedo is also back, meaning the top four from last season’s lineup return. The Tigers had a disappointing showing come postseason time, barely advancing from regionals and then missing match play at NCAAs. However, LSU has as much experience and talent as any team in the country this season, which can go a long way to making a title push.
Can Florida State be a contender?
With Charlotte Heath and Lottie Woad returning, Florida State was going to be one of the teams to watch this season. However, the Seminoles also got an important transfer in Mirabel Ting, who had a standout freshman season at Augusta.
That gives Florida State a talented top three, and their Nos. 4 and 5, Kaylah Williams and Alice Hodge also return. With that kind of depth, The Seminoles are easily a team that could make a run in match play at the NCAA Championship.