GREENVILLE – A college visit to Bluffton University ended with Greenville senior Kourtney Kretschmar being recruited to join the Beavers’ women’s golf team.
“I’m very excited,” said Kretschmar, who committed to Bluffton on Wednesday. “The coach at Bluffton actually searched for me when I was on my college visit. He was very friendly, made the whole atmosphere seem even more welcoming than I already found it to be, and I’m just very excited to become a Beaver this fall. I was privileged to be a Wave and being a Beaver is just going to be that much more exciting for me.”
Kretschmar, the daughter of Kayann and Keith Kretschmar, said she indicated on a questionnaire that she was interested in golfing in college, and that led Bluffton coach Adam Craig to track her down during a campus visit.
“I put that I was interested in golf on my little information sheet when I went there, and he sought out to find me on my visit,” she said.
Even before she knew she’d have a chance to golf in college, Kretschmar liked Bluffton and the atmosphere of the college.
“It’s a smaller university, and it’s very safe,” she said. “Everyone I met was super friendly, and it was just a very welcoming atmosphere.”
Greenville girls golf coach Tracy Haines said Kretschmar should be a good fit with the golf program at Bluffton.
“I think it’s great. I really do,” Haines said. “I think she’ll enjoy it.
“If she applies herself I think she’ll be fine. She’s going to have to continue to work, which I think she’ll do because she enjoys playing golf. I don’t think that will be a problem.”
Kretschmar’s greatest strength as a golfer is her attitude, Haines said, as she’ll never give up.
“She’s pretty fair all throughout the game,” the Lady Wave coach said. “Putting is not one of her strong suits, but she’ll work on that I’m sure, and she’ll get better.”
Bluffton restarted its women’s golf team this season. The Beavers were without a team since the end of the 2003-04 academic year.
This season Bluffton has just one golfer, senior Mercedes Burns. That will create opportunities for Kretschmar to contribute her freshman season.
“We actually have a team of freshmen this year because last year they had one senior; she graduated so we’re a new evolving team of freshmen, and he’s really excited to get to work with all of us,” Kretschmar said.
Kretschmar plans to study nursing at Bluffton with a minor in psychology. Following her undergraduate studies she wants to pursue a master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner.
The Greenville senior is excited for her time at Bluffton and is looking forward to traveling to tournaments.
“Just have the most fun I can and have as many experiences as I can,” she said of her college goals. “We go to places like Kentucky, Tennessee. We might go to Pinehurst; that’s in North Carolina.”