With the fall season having recently concluded, freshmen Tenley Shield and Caroline Araskog, the two newest members of the women’s golf team, sat down to talk with The Daily Princetonian about recent successes on the course, the team dynamic and whether or not to bring Eli Manning to a deserted island.
Daily Princetonian: To start off, where are you from and what’s the best part about being from there?
Tenley Shield: I’m from the Detroit area. The best part is probably … I’m a baseball and hockey fan, so the Tigers and Red Wings.
Caroline Araskog: I’m from New York and I’d say the best part is the New York Rangers.
DP: Favorite Wings player?
TS: Probably Datsyuk. Has to be.
CA: Wings and Rangers play Wednesday so we’re not going to be able to talk to each other all day.
DP: Caroline, GoPrincetonTigers.com says that you did play some golf in Florida?
CA: Yeah so I went to high school in Florida. We moved there for four years and then moved back to New York this year.
DP: So how have you been dealing with the cold weather?
CA: I’m absolutely terrible with the cold. I wear five layers to practice everyday.
TS: And I wear shorts.
DP: Tenley, you’re from a tundra-like part of the world. What would you say to these tropical people about the cold?
TS: They’re always whining and I’ll be wearing shorts and a t-shirt. And Caroline will be in layers. You just got to get used to it.
CA: I’ve got tough skin though.
TS: No you don’t.
DP: You guys have finished your fall season. Congratulations on a great finish. What’s the biggest difference between the high school and collegiate golf experience?
CA: Here you have to deal with the workload of Princeton, which is very difficult, as you know. But for the most part you’re with your team 24/7 here, which we love. At least I do. Tenley probably doesn’t as much since she has to see me all the time. It’s a lot more demanding but in a good way.
DP: What’s it like being the only two freshmen on the team?
TS: We get beat up a lot. No. I mean we get along really well together. And the girls are really helpful.
CA: The girls are great. It’s been really nice having a team here.
DP: What drew you guys to play at Princeton?
TS: The school itself. I wasn’t really looking for a school to play golf — I was looking for a school for school, and then golf was just a bonus because the team’s awesome. It just worked out.
CA: Close to the same thing, I was looking at some Southern schools too because of the warm weather, but when I visited here I loved it.
DP: Did you visit during warm weather?
CA: I did. I visited during spring and it was a really nice day. That’s how they got me, for sure.
DP: Tenley, I see that you were named Michigan’s Miss Hockey, and that state is known for some excellent puck. What led you to choose to pursue golf over hockey?
TS: Wel,l I played high school hockey, so if you want to play college hockey you can’t play high school hockey. I wanted to play golf and hockey, so I’d kind of already made my decision. I’m hoping to play some kind of hockey this winter if coach [Erika Desanty] says it’s okay.
DP: Did you play any other sports, Caroline?
CA: Yes, I was on the tennis team at my high school freshman year. And then I played a little lacrosse and field hockey, but nothing too serious.
DP: So if you had to play another varsity sport besides golf and, I suppose, hockey for you, Tenley, what would you play?
CA: I’d probably go with tennis. Maybe football…
TS: I’m so bad at tennis. Besides hockey, I can’t see anything.
DP: When did you two first get into golf?
TS: I was around 12 probably. I was kind of old-ish.
CA: I was 3 or 4. My whole family played so I started early, but I played lots of other sports until my freshman year in high school when I decided I wanted to play golf in college.
DP: Tenley, how did it feel to win the Lehigh Invitational?
TS: Oh well [junior] Alex [Wong] and I tied, and then they did the scorecard playoff. But it was fun. I hadn’t played that well this season, so it was nice to end the season on a better note.
DP: Is it kind of difficult having to travel, and sometimes travel great distances, for pretty much all of your meets except for one?
TS: Yeah, it’s pretty tough. The first one we went to was Vanderbilt and that was hard. We left Wednesday and came back on a Sunday. That was the farthest one so far.
CA: It’ll probably be more like that in the spring. That first one being so far freaked us out a bit, but it was fun. We got to know each other pretty well I’d say.
DP: What’s the most embarrassing or bizarre thing that’s happened to you on a golf course?
TS: Oh… No. I was thinking about what happened at Lehigh on the first tee.
CA: (Laughing) Oh, you have to tell that.
TS: Ok, so I was playing as an individual at Lehigh, not with the team. So I was teeing off a half hour before everyone else. I was playing with another individual from Lehigh, and none of her team was there, but my entire team and my coach are there to cheer me on. And they’re cheering, “Go Tenley!” So I step up to the tee and chunk it literally 40 yards off the first tee. And everyone goes quiet, and I look back and [junior] Sydney [Kersten] was like, “Oh no.”
CA: It was a little awkward for us. We didn’t really know what to do.
DP: As you mentioned, there is sort of a dichotomy, as you can play golf as an individual or as a team. How have you been able to combine playing solo and working together as a team?
TS: Well, our coach this year — we have a bunch of team goals this year that we keep in mind as we play, sort of complicated scoring goals.
CA: They’re kind of numerical, but then also related to attitude and stuff.
TS: I always feel like we’re playing more for the team than ourselves.
CA: Who was saying, maybe Alex or Sydney, that “Every shot is for the team?”
TS: I don’t think anyone said that.
CA: Someone said that. Clearly you were not listening.
DP: What are your thoughts on No Shave November?
CA: Oh, I love that idea.
TS: (To Caroline) Are you doing it?
CA: (Laughing) No. I think it’s a great thing. In my high school, all the senior guys did it and all the teachers. It’s hilarious. They had all these restrictions about where they could shave.
TS: Same. Who doesn’t like a good mustache?
DP: That’s a real hockey fan there.
DP: Could give each other a spirit animal, then describe why you choose that?
CA: Tenley is definitely a turtle.
TS: Why am I a turtle?
CA: Because you have lightning speed, you know.
TS: Ok… Well this is hard. You’d probably be a dog, just because you’re really eager.
CA: Good to know.
DP: Kind of along similar lines, Tenley, could you describe Caroline’s style of play, and then Caroline Tenley’s?
TS: She’s really goofy when she plays golf, which is a good thing, because some people are really serious and uptight. Whenever we play in practice we have a good time.
CA: Tenley also is a lot of fun to play with, but she’s very orderly in that she has her process and sticks to it. But we have our moments, especially when we’re grouped together out there. It never really ends up well, so coach is probably avoiding that for the spring.
DP: Do you have any game-day superstitions or on-the-course rituals? I know golfers are kind of superstitious.
TS: I have a lot, like I have the same meal. Well I don’t have the same breakfast every morning, but if I have a breakfast and don’t play well, then I’ll switch it up. What else do I do? I also clean my clubs before every round, and everyone on our team thinks it’s really weird.
CA: Especially when you’re sharing a room with her and she’s cleaning her clubs at midnight.
TS: No, but no one else cleans their clubs. I’m pretty sure they rub dirt on them basically, because I cleaned [senior] Mary [Funk’s] clubs when I roomed with her one time and it was the most disgusting thing. I was appalled.
CA: Mine I think I also have to have the same design on my golf ball.
DP: What’s your sharpie design?
CA: I put a little C next to the number. I also hate playing with Titleist 3s. I’m a 1,2 and 4 person. So I put a little C and then I usually put four dots or my initials on the side.
DP: Tenley do you have a specific design?
TS: I have a T.
DP: If you could play on any golf course, what would it be?
CA: Good one, that’s tough. Mine would be National in Long Island.
CA: Let’s hear yours.
TS: I’d probably go home and play Lincoln Hills; it’s a little course. Nothing fancy.
DP: Who's the quirkiest girl on your team and why?
TS: Probably Mary or Alex. Alex is pretty weird. Mary’s pretty weird.
CA: We’re all pretty weird. Alex has her moments. Mary always wears weird outfits.
TS: You’re pretty weird. I’d say I’m normal.
CA: No, no, no, you’re not normal. She wears these socks. Mary’s outfits though, she’ll wear plaid, stripes, you name it.
TS: Probably most well-known for her clam chowder obsession.
DP: Which of you two is the better person?
TS: (at the same time) Caroline. Ok, let’s not get all sappy.
CA: Tenley couldn’t hurt a fly. She’s the sweetest, she couldn’t be mean to anyone.
TS: I’m only mean to you.
CA: That’s understandable. I don’t blame you.
TS: It’s out of love. No, Caroline’s pretty cool. She’s alright.
DP: Describe each other’s ideal night.
TS: Well, Caroline would probably be at home with her family. Her whole family. And she’d meet her sister’s boyfriend, finally, who she keeps talking about wanting to meet this kid.
CA: Gotta know the sister's boyfriend, right?
TS: It’s been a topic of conversation for the past four months. And she’d probably just hang with fam. Don’t you think?
CA: That would be a good night. Let’s see, Tenley would be at home wearing her Wings jersey with her entire family and all her aunts and uncles and cousins that she always talks about. I haven’t met them, but I’m excited to. And let’s see, she’ll be eating her paleo cookies that she brought to the Invitational.
TS: (offended) They’re really good.
CA: No, I’m kidding, they’re actually pretty good.
DP: One last one: You are on a deserted island and can only take three things, what are they?
TS: I’d bring Caroline for company, maybe, and then what else? What would you bring?
CA: Well, I was going to bring you, but now that we have each other I think I’ll go with. Oh that’s tough. Uhhhhh… I couldn’t bring chocolate chip cookies because you wouldn’t allow that.
TS: No. You’d force them on me.
DP: Are you kind of a health nut?
TS: I am. I like the paleo diet and then Caroline always makes me cheat.
CA: I’m a terrible influence. I eat everything. Well if we’re on the island I’ll bring … This is really tough. I’d bring Eli Manning too. I have a crush on him.
TS: No! Why would you bring Eli Manning?
CA: I’ve always loved Eli Manning.
CA: Because he’s so cute. I know he doesn’t have the looks of Tom Brady, but still.
TS: Well I’d just feel awkward if you brought Eli Manning.
CA: Well that’s why you get to pick one more person.
TS: I don’t want to bring too many people. This is going to be a crowded island.
CA: Ok, maybe I’ll leave Eli. He can come on certain days. I’ll bring a TV. How’s that?
TS: Probably some movies.
DP: You’ve got to pick one movie.
TS: Tommy Boy. That’s a classic.
CA: Along Came Polly.
TS: I hate that movie.
CA: Ok, well you’re now banished from the island.