Parsetich enjoying solid freshman season for IWU women’s golf

The scorecards were saying one thing, but Sage Parsetich was often thinking something else.

Confidence, after all, can be a demanding dogleg right.

Parsetich, a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan who has risen to No. 2 in the lineup for the NAIA No. 14 Wildcats, continues to make noteworthy strides in that area.

“The mental part of golf is the hardest part,” said Parsetich, a four-year starter at Center Grove who led the Trojans to a second-place tie at the state finals in the fall of 2022. “I knew I was a good golfer. I just didn’t have the confidence.”

Helping decrease the distance between where Parsetich is and where she wants to be in that aspect of the sport is Dr. Bob Winters, a sports psychologist who specializes in investigating how one’s thoughts affects an athlete’s ability to perform his or her best.

Based in Orlando, Florida, Winters, who played men’s golf at Ball State in the 1970s, is known in golf circles as the Confidence Doctor. He has worked with Parsetich since late in her high school career.

“Obviously, my game has gotten better,” Parsetich said. “Mentally, I’ve grown so much. I’ve gotten so much better at playing free, and not worrying about what I shoot. I’m just trying to hit one shot at a time and stay in the moment.”

No easy task given the number of hours golfers are on the course during competition — ample opportunity for second- and third-guessing oneself.

As a senior at Center Grove, Parsetich ranked second among Johnson County golfers with her 18-hole average of 76.17. Her final prep postseason saw her medal at sectional, place third at regional and tie for 10th at the 2022 state finals with a two-round sum of 156.

Taking her next steps as a student-athlete presented challenges. IWU players arrived on campus on Aug. 21, more than a week before students not playing a fall sport arrived.

“College is a lot different than high school,” said Parsetich, who is majoring in finance. “You have your own schedule, especially going into golf season. I’m the kind of person who needs a schedule for everything. To have everything planned every day.

“It was a big transition at the beginning. Everything is on me.”

Parsetich’s debut season has her as a fixture of coach Kyle Bloom’s starting lineup. She assumed the No. 3 role during the fall and is up to No. 2 this spring behind fellow freshman Kylee Purdy, who hails from West Salem, Ohio.

“Sage’s ball-striking just kept getting better and better as the fall season went on,” Bloom said. “She always has the best-looking swing out there and, man, this spring she’s just come out playing really well. It looks effortless.”

Of course, it’s not.

Indiana Wesleyan kicked off its spring schedule by finishing second of 11 teams at an event in Opelika, Alabama in early March. More recently, Parsetich picked up medalist honors in chilly conditions at the Purgatory Intercollegiate Invite, shooting scores of 76 and 72 — seven strokes better than her team’s next-best 36-hole total.

The Wildcats return to action April 8-9 at the Roadrunner Classic in Cohutta, Georgia, before coming back to Indiana for the Rock Hollow Invite in Peru.

Parsetich, her self-assuredness growing with every round of golf, looks forward to the competitions ahead.

“I would say Sage is living up to our expectations,” Bloom said. “College is just different. It’s a tough adjustment for every freshman. Sage handled it really well, and she’s playing fearlessly now.”