Entering Andover with baseball as his main sport, Andover Golf Captain Harry Choi ’19 made the decision to pursue golf in high school after being introduced to the sport by his father at a young age. Choi has since been a member of Andover Golf team since his Junior year.
“I always had a club in my hand since I was at a young age because my dad played. But I didn’t start taking golf seriously until I was 14. Back then, baseball was my main sport and when I got to Andover, I had to make a decision between golf and baseball since they’re during the same season. Evidently, I decided to play golf and I’ve played in tournaments outside of school for the past four years along with playing here,” said Choi.
According to Choi, he learned how to foster a strong sense of team from past upperclassmen who immediately welcomed him to the team.
“I entered the team when I was a [Junior] and during my first year, everyone else was older than me. Those older guys really helped bring me in and we were a team from day one. They showed me how to be a good teammate and role model. They also showed me how to have fun but also support my teammates. All of my previous captains have played huge roles on my Andover golf career,” said Choi.
Choi’s leadership and skill both help create a positive and professional atmosphere during practices and matches, according to teammates Derrick Brown ’20 and Yeetang Kwok ’20.
“Whenever he sees someone else when he’s playing, he always makes sure to call out to them and ask them how they’re doing… he tells them to keep pushing on and keep trying to play well. He shows leadership in that sense, along with his overall friendliness and it’s really important because he keeps everyone on track while we’re playing,” said Brown.
Kwok added, “He’s a really skilled player and he brings a lot of experience and expertise to the team. I admire his drive and his clutchness because he can make putts in the moment when he really needs to and he does it for the team. That’s what makes him a key player and we all respect him.”
Choi’s leadership extends outside of the golf course too, as he makes an intentional effort to connect with all of players on the team, according to Brown.
“He is our best player and his presence is similar to a leader. He’s like a coach. We can always go to him when we need tips on how to improve an aspect of our game or just if we want to have a friendly discussion,” said Brown.
According to Choi, golf is a difficult, but rewarding sport. Throughout his Andover golf career, he has learned to accept failure and criticism as it teaches him lessons valuable beyond the course.
“Golf has really taught me how to be patient. You’re not going to hit every shot perfectly so you have to know how to rebound and how you’re going to respond after hitting a bad shot… golf has also taught me perseverance because it’s one of the most mentally demanding sports I’ve ever played and it’s more mentally demanding than physically demanding. It teaches you how to be mentally tough and not just in golf but in life,” added Choi.
This year, Choi’s primary goal for the team is to beat Phillips Exeter Academy in a tournament near the end of the season.
“Every year we have a big tournament with Exeter and Governor’s. There are two different trophies, one for match play and one for stroke play,” said Choi. “Last year we won the trophy for match play which was a big step. Hopefully this year, we will be able to win both trophies.”
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