Golf team improves their game

Mark Yankovitz, Staff Reporter

Basketball requires coherence between players and offensive skills to raise the score as much as possible. Football follows the same format, but scoring means reaching the end of the field rather than getting a ball in a bucket. Winning a game of soccer demands as many goals as possible.

Golf, however, does not follow any of these rules.

A win in golf means limiting one’s score as much as possible by getting the ball in the hole as soon as possible. Every stroke matters, so golfers must learn to adapt and recover after bad strokes while capitalizing on great strokes.

Jason Hance, the coach for Revere’s Varsity men’s golf team, said that the difference between a bad match and a decent one often comes down to course management.

“If you can limit mistakes, you can keep a low score,” Hance said.

As such, golfers need to pace themselves with a stream of strong plays to counter and minimize the poor strokes. Coach for Revere’s Junior Varsity men’s golf team Jed McKnight said that anyone who plays golf needs to make sure opportunities exist to fix mistakes. An atrocious shot can ruin the entire hole if recovering proves difficult.

“Good golfers don’t try to be perfect, they just make sure their bad shots aren’t so bad,” McKnight said.

In this sense, playing a great game of golf means simultaneously limiting one’s shots and giving each one more meaning.

According to the coach for Revere’s Varsity women’s team Kyle Haglock, players just need to aim for a “buffer zone.” Golfers should try to capitalize on their best strokes so that the rough shots do not injure their score as much.

This opens up another side of the game: the nerves. No matter how rough a shot, golf requires the player to retain enough confidence to carry them through the rest of the hole, as Revere’s Junior Varsity women’s coach Cynthia Gobrogge attested to.

“Golf requires a lot of mental toughness, so being able to persevere despite some challenging situations takes dignity and grace,” Gobrogge said.

The word “dignity” inspires a pride that golfers must maintain to keep their spirits up, no matter how the round progresses. Every course includes multiple expectations that often set the bar higher than it needs to rest, from par numbers for each hole to other golfers who appear to have a strong hold on the game. Players must ignore both of these factors to focus on their own play. McKnight also described the importance of confidence.

“You have to be able to relax. Patience, calmness and confidence are the key elements in golf,” McKnight said.

When golfers have patience, they gain perseverance and a sense of perspective. These qualities can provide the edge players need to truly perform well.

Strong shots can also help boost confidence, in addition to the “buffer zone” Haglock referred to. The satisfaction of completing a hole with as few strokes as possible can carry a golfer through the rest of the course. Gobrogge described the significant impact of a hole in one.

“Everything stops in the immediate vicinity . . . . The owner of the golf course will typically come out and take pictures at the hole with the golfer. It is a big deal,” Gobrogge said.

Alex Dye, a junior on the golf team, described his experience achieving a hole in one.

“When I got my hole in one, I was mostly shocked. It felt so good and it really turned my round around,” Dye said.

This satisfaction helps carry golfers through the difficult game. In a competition where so many factors and mistakes can impact the overall match, getting everything right in a perfect shot certifies a great round. Dye voiced that the potential for improvements in this format keeps him engaged.

“I love the new challenges it presents me every time I play,” Dye said.

This balance between challenge and reward makes golf satisfying, as Haglock attested to.

“Golf is the best game in the world, but it’s also the most frustrating game in the world,” Haglock said.

Unlike other high school sports, playing a great game of golf means keeping a low score and perfecting every moment. Golfers need to maintain dignity and pride regardless of the shot, which makes the triumph even better. Despite the learning curve, golfers must persevere through the rough shots and capitalize on the great ones. It makes the game incredibly rewarding.