Young blood amps up women’s golf

Alyssa Gaudio is the first head women’s golf coach Oakland has ever had. She has been doing the job for a little more than a year.

“Oakland is a very attractive school to coach at,” Gaudio said.

She said the school has a strong culture revolving around the student-athlete experience, and that it makes student athletes’ collegiate careers the best they can be. She said that ethos and the academic strengths of the school brought her here.

“I couldn’t wait to see where the team was at with their strengths and weaknesses,” Gaudio said. “[I wanted] to help them develop their games even more.” 

She works to develop a balance between being a confidant and coach.

“I believe that balance is what produces a high-performing team and develops young women off the course,” Gaudio said, alluding to why she might have scored the job.

Gaudio’s father, Frank Gaudio, introduced her to the sport, and has followed her to Oakland as a volunteer assistant coach.

“I am very grateful to have him as my assistant coach,” she said. “He taught me the game and the way to approach and manage different golf courses That fact alone helps us share the same message to our players, which is a huge benefit and keeps our message consistent.”

Gaudio took what her father taught her and joined her high school team freshman year.

“It was a challenging first couple years, but [it] is an amazing sport that challenges your mind and body,” she said.

Some of her favorite accomplishments came during college, including placing 44th in the 2011 NCAA Division III National Championships.

“It was an exciting collegiate career and I still enjoy competing throughout the summers,” Gaudio said.

Her college coach, Tye Thompson, is the man to thank for influencing Gaudio to become a coach in the first place.

“[He] made me continually fall in love with the game and enjoy it every time I teed it up,” Gaudio said.

She was his assistant coach for two years and loved the impact he not only had on her, but the other players, too.

“I knew I wanted to do the same thing,” Gaudio said. “I wanted the challenge of helping others improve on and off the golf course.”

That’s what she is doing now as a coach at Oakland.

“Our main goals are to sharpen all areas of our game,” Gaudio said. “If we can do this, we can compete against the best and we will be strong when it comes time for the Horizon League Championships.”

She looks for certain characteristics in players.

“I like to see a strong mind,” Gaudio said. “It’s tough to teach a player to stay calm and focused throughout an 18-hole round, three days in a row.

“Players who can learn to shake off the bad have an easier time coming back from a bad swing or a bad hole,” she said, adding that that’s what matters the most when players are under pressure.

Oakland women’s golf competes in the Houston Baptist University Husky Invitational on Monday and Tuesday, March 28-29 in Sugarland, Texas.