Tennis balls whizz through the air as golfers take to the Great Lawn during Outdoor Time throughout the mandatory quarantine upon on-campus arrival. A highly skilled circle of golfers routinely assembles daily, each participant striving to achieve the title of “Best Golfer” on campus. With tempers flaring and crowds gathering, the game has taken over campus.
According to Julian Reed ’23, the lawns and quads have provided high quality playing surfaces for most golfers. Reed added that some improvements can be made in the future to maintain the course.
“The conditions have been spotless out on the lawn. The dirt is in immaculate condition. However, we did find a few divots. That is my only complaint and I think the school should invest a bit more into that. Besides that, the conditions have been great,” Reed said.
Andres Aleman ’23 described certain challenges that stifle his ability to perform at his best, such as slick grass conditions and high stakes. He has learned to overcome the difficulties mounted on him, leading him to individual success on the course.
“Today was very chilly and we had some big east bound winds which made it a lot harder to hit balls. The grass has been pretty wet recently and we have had to find ways to get around that. Another challenge is definitely not allowing other players to get in my head because there is a lot of pressure to perform better than everyone else, so just getting that done has been really helpful,” said Aleman.
According to Cody Comyns ’23, joggers have posed a distraction for his success on the course. Other minor additions, Comyns suggested, include caddies and a tee box.
“If the joggers could refrain from stepping on our course it would help. The joggers were definitely a presence in today’s game which messed us up a few times. I also think a tee box would be a great investment. There is a lot of rookie talent out on the lawn, but if our school wants to get to the next level, they have to get a tee box,” Comyns said.
Reed is implementing a strict training schedule into his morning routine. He focuses on stretching, dieting, practicing, as well as using altered tennis balls to get an edge on his opponents.
“My training is actually quite intense. I wake up at 5:00 a.m. every single day to workout. I find that stretching helps me achieve maximum rotation which will allow me to get maximum distance with my shots. I always eat a hearty breakfast of around ten eggs. That is normally pretty healthy, but on campus I think that is all the school can provide. I get to the links nice and early before anyone else gets there to take a few shots. I also like to get a few specialized tennis balls that have a bit of a softer core that allow me to enhance my performance. After that, I go about my day until it is time to perform,” said Reed.
While some golfers focus solely on physical training, Mason Carlow ’23 stresses the importance of mental preparation for the game.
“Golf is a mind game, so I rarely exercise. Exercise is for the weak,” Carlow said.
As the amount of competition increases, golfers have called upon the school for multiple additions to the lawn to enhance playing surfaces. Reed suggested adding golf carts and artificial bodies of water to add variation to the course.
“I think the best addition to the course would be golf carts. Walking takes a big toll on my legs and I cannot get the same power in my shots. That is probably the biggest addition. I also think an artificial body of water would enhance the lawn. I have been aiming for some higher precision shots and water would definitely add another dimension to the course. I would be able to skip a few shots across the water,” Reed said.
The golfers look to continue scheduled competition through the end of quarantine during Outdoor Time.