With a younger team consisting of mostly lowerclassmen, Andover Golf lost to Deerfield 2.5-6.5 this past Saturday despite putting up a good fight. Its record now stands at 0-2.
According to Co-Captain Griffin Hout ’21 and Logan Eskildsen ’24, the scoreboard was not an accurate representation of how the team played, as many individual matches were very competitive.
Hout said, “We ended up losing by a significant margin on the scoreboard, but I think that it was a lot closer than that… Most of our matches were really close, especially our first and second players Joey [Zheng ’23] and [Alex Smyth ’24]… If we had played a little better it would have been a lot closer on the scoreboard.”
Eskildsen added, “We put up a good fight in the game… [The score] wasn’t [too] bad, every game was close.”
With a later start to the season than usual and fewer practices, Andover Golf has had fewer opportunities to practice as a team. However, athletes have found different ways to prepare and many have been training on their own as well, according to Hout.
“We’ve hadn’t had a ton of practices, but we’ve been able to play in the simulator a lot just on our own time… I think we just need a little more experience in actual matches,” said Hout.
According to Eskildsen, the team had good communication this Saturday but still needs to work on familiarizing itself with the home course.
“I think we did a great job communicating with each other and helping each other out… If it wasn’t for that, I’m sure the score would be a little bit lower… [However,] we need to get better at taking advantage of our home course because we get to play there three [to] four times a week. We can [start] winning if we get to know what the shortcuts are and what the secrets are,” said Eskildsen.
Additionally, the team should work on starting off strong and then maintaining momentum throughout matches, according to Smyth and Hout.
In an email to The Phillipian, Smyth wrote, “Our team seemed to have played well during the first two thirds, but most of us fell behind in the end and gave a few easy points to Deerfield. As a team, we need to improve on keeping our foot on the gas and closing out matches as we are often up a few holes going into the final stretch.”
Hout added, “I think we definitely need to work on getting off to a faster start in our matches because oftentimes the first few holes are just really important in setting the tone for a match… I think we’re struggling a little bit with getting behind the first few holes and not being able to recover.”
In preparation for future matches, the team plans to complete the Trackman Combine, a standardized test that enables golfers to identify strengths and weaknesses, according to Smyth.
Smyth wrote, “This week, the coaches have us completing the Trackman Combine in our state-of-the-art golf simulators. This is a 60-minute test that will help us evaluate our games and find our weaknesses. We will practice these weaknesses this week prior to our next match next Saturday against Worcester Academy. I believe we have what it takes to win our next matches; it is just a matter of putting together everything we have learned in our first matches.”
This Saturday, Andover looks to secure its first win of the season at home against Worcester Academy.