Beckman Girls Golf “Putt”s in the Effort “Fore” the New Season
As the fall season of sports starts at Beckman High School, Girls Golf prepares physically and mentally for the upcoming games
September 22, 2019
IRVINE – The golf course facing the Beckman Girls Golf team is an endless stretch of green and white with a flag at its end signaling the end goal. Years of golf experience and training have gotten the team to be where they are now. Every shot a player takes reflects the performance of both her and Beckman.
Before every competition, the players on the golf team form a circle and put their hands into the middle as a school spirit tradition. After a brief cheer, the players then disperse into their respective golf courses for the start of their competition.
Aim. Power. Distance. A golfer’s attention has to be sharp when executing her shot.
Posture. Swing. Contact. One shot can either save a golfer or completely ruin her.
Competitive golf is no easy stunt. A golfer cannot pick up golf competitively in a matter of a year, unlike recreational golf. It requires stamina and dedicated hours of practice.
This is sophomore Euna Lee’s second year on the Varsity Girls Golf team, and she has been playing golf for about seven to eight years. She dedicates time outside of practice hours and school hours to sharpen her golf skills.
“Everyone may think that it’s just a sport for old people and that you get to ride in golf carts, but it’s actually a painful sport,” says Lee. “We have to walk miles while pushing our carts, which is a bummer when the courses are all uphill. Since our bags weigh a ton because of the clubs, this sport requires a lot of energy.”
Not only does competitive golf require a lot of physical energy for both practice and during competitions but it also demands patience and concentration whilst under pressure. A golfer has one shot, and her individual scores are ultimately added up for the team’s total score, with the lowest-scoring team advancing to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs.
Senior Jenny Kezios has been on the Varsity Girls Golf team since her sophomore year and has been playing golf since she was 7 years old. Her main motivation is to constantly improve her skills and to never settle for one score. She keeps in mind that her team and the school depends on her, which drives her motivation during every competition.
“Golf is also a mental game, and it is crucial that we go into a match with high spirits, since that often reflects on our score,” says Kezios. “The most difficult part of being in Beckman Girls Golf is the mental aspect of the game of golf. Since a golf match can last for a few hours, it is extremely easy to get down on yourself between every shot. Whereas other sports rely on an adrenaline rush, golf gives the player a lot of time to overthink and make mistakes.”
The key component of competitive golf is to gain the support of fellow teammates. Some of the fondest memories made on the team are the times when they gather to socialize, making each other feel like they are united under one purpose.
Junior Kaylin Chen plays half of the time on Junior Varsity (JV) matches and the other half on the Varsity matches. To her, team bonding is the main aspect of competitive golf.
“We have about seven to eight people on each team, which makes us a lot closer than other teams, and I think our team dynamic is really unique because of that,” says Chen. “Before the start of every season, both teams get together. We’ll hang out at the pool or go to someone’s house and just relax and get to know each other better before a fun season.”
The biggest difference between golf and other sports at Beckman is the unpredictability of each match. Every golfer on the team is indispensable, which makes practice and training even more crucial.
Coach Blair has been coaching Boys Golf and Girls Golf at Beckman for about five years. The most satisfying part of coaching for him is the ability to see his players improve from year to year. He knows the amount of pressure his players undergo and is constantly impressed by their perseverance.
“With golf, on a day-to-day basis, it can be different,” said Coach Blair. “It comes back to that fact that you got about five individual scores all getting added up. So if one or two people have an off-day, it completely changes the outcome and that makes it challenging in terms of matches and CIF plays. Generally speaking, it’s one shot and it’s hard. In a team sport, it’s easier to overcome, you can just sub somebody out and your teammates can step up for you. But, in something like golf, every single person has to be on their game.”
As a golf coach, he is aware that his main purpose may not be necessarily leading the drills and practices. Instead, he encourages his players and makes sure they have access to the things that they need in order to be physically and mentally prepared when it comes time for a golf competition.
Whether Beckman Girls Golf players decide to continue golf throughout college or not, their commitment to the sport and passion is evident in their practices and performance. Despite being a physical and mental challenge, competitive golf has many rewards that make it worthwhile to play. A golfer gets to create lasting bonds, develop both her physical and mental strengths and play with a passion to represent her team and school.
Truly, golf is a team sport. Players must be responsible for their own individual scores and representing Beckman, but they also lift one another up and make a positive impact on the overall team performance. At the end of the day, each player is playing for herself as a Beckman Patriot and also for one another.
To fully showcase their school spirit and support for each other, the golf team starts every competition with the same motivational shout, “Patriots on three! One, two, three, Patriots!”