Entering his Senior season as Co-Captain of Andover Golf, Pranav Tadikonda ’16 will look to guide Andover back to its successful ways after losing to rivals Exeter, Deerfield, and Tabor last year.
While his primary goal is to avenge Andover’s losses, Tadikonda also aims to maintain a welcoming and upbeat team atmosphere this season. A four-year Senior from Burlington, Mass., Tadikonda has been on the team since his Junior year and has competed at the varsity level since his Lower year.
Tadikonda began playing at the age of three and credits his early beginnings to his father’s love of the sport. While he showed promise from the start, he put his career on halt at eight-years old to focus more on baseball. Before starting his Junior year at Andover, he rediscovered his passion for the sport.
“I came to Andover with pretty high expectations for myself as a golfer, and my first year I made the team but didn’t play varsity, which was pretty humbling for me. I realized that while I had some talent, there were a lot of parts in my game that needed a lot of work to get to the varsity level,” said Tadikonda.
His teammates praise him for his leadership skills on the course, as well as for the supportive environment he creates for the team. Additionally, his high level of play is well admired amongst his teammates.
“Pranav boasts a strong drive and his surprising distance throughout his irons. He putts extremely well, as one-putts are commonplace for him. He doesn’t have many weaknesses in his game, so his strong play on the course makes him a well deserved Captain,” wrote Cam Kerry ’16, a returning player, in an email to The Phillipian.
Newcomer Alex Cleveland ’18 said, “Pranav embodies everything you want in a Captain. He encourages everyone on the team to give their best day in and day out. His work ethic is unparalleled, which is why I think a lot of people look up to him as a mentor.”
Tadikonda emphasizes having fun and creating a team culture that fosters personal growth. He credits former Captains Shin-Jae Lee ’13, John Perkins ’13, Kavan Canekeratne ’14, and Tyler Tsay ’15 as figures that inspire how he and Co-Captain Peter Hahn ’16 lead the team.
“I think having fun is one of the biggest things that Peter and I have tried to emphasize this year because the last three years, there wasn’t a day where we didn’t want to go on the course. We wanted the team this year to have an environment and a culture that allows players to grow and learn, not only as golfers but as citizens of the game,” said Tadikonda.
Looking ahead, Tadikonda’s main goal for himself and for the team is to beat Phillips Exeter Academy throughout the season, since the teams face each other twice before their final match.
“We want to beat Exeter. We beat them [my] Freshman and Lower year, and then last year they got the best of us and [have not lost] too many players [this year]. For Peter and I, as Captains, it would be really, really cool to go out the way that we came in, with a couple of wins over Exeter,” said Tadikonda.