Our new head golf coach sits down to talk about his goals for the team, why golf is a sport he'll never get tired of and his greatest satisfaction as a coach.
Q: Why did you choose to coach for St. Mary’s Academy?
A: I coached girls basketball at SMA for their JV team in the late 90’s with a 15-7 record that season. Aside from my past involvement coaching at SMA, I was looking for a coaching role after coaching golf at University of Portland for 11 years.
Q: How long have you golfed?
A: My grandpa gave my siblings and I clubs when we were about six or seven and I have been playing ever since. Although I played basketball and baseball in high school and during my college years at UP, I always played golf during summer. Then as I got older, I turned to golf and have been playing for over two decades both for fun and in tournaments.
Q: What are your favorite courses in the area?
A: Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Waverly Country Club, and Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
Q: How would you compare golf to other sports you’ve played like baseball and basketball?
Basketball and baseball are reaction sports and golf is quite the opposite, it's more of a mental game. There’s so much time in between shots for your mind to either wander or stay focused. Overall it's a hard sport that requires you to have a lot of patience and remain positive.
Q: What do you think it will be like coaching an all-girl golf team?
A: I think it’s going to be important for the team members to have a good time and have fun, that’s first and foremost. I want to try to get across anything I can in terms of teaching skills and the thought process surrounding golf. It’ll be easier to let them know how important the mental part of the game is and dealing with the nerves.
Q: What was it like coaching golf at UP?
A: It was great. The biggest satisfaction I had was when kids would graduate and I’d run into them as they became adults. You hear about their new jobs, their families and see their kids. You just go back to that bond you created years ago and it brings a lot of satisfaction to hear they’ve grown into becoming good people.
Q: What has your success in golf been like?
A: I’ve won my fair share of tournaments at the local, regional and national level. Years ago, I almost got into the U.S. Open. Golfers are pretty humble and I’ll say I’ve had my fair share of success.
Q: Each year a new season starts, do you ever think to yourself ‘this will be my last season coaching’?
A: No, the game of golf has given me a lot of joy in my life. There’s a lot of speculation that the game isn’t growing and declining as far as participants go. I want to give back to the game and encourage kids to play because you can play golf your whole life. When you get older it’s a great exercise getting outside, so I just want to try to help grow people’s interest in the game of golf.
Q: Why do you think a lot of people choose other sports over golf?
A: It takes about four hours to play 18 holes and that’s a big chunk of your day. It’s time consuming and many would consider it a really hard sport. Perseverance is also a huge characteristic you have to have when playing golf.
Q: Who are your favorite golfers and why?
A: Tiger Woods. People played golf years ago because they weren’t good at other sports or they weren’t athletic. Tiger Woods came in as an athletic person and changed the game. He made it popular with young kids who saw him as the world’s top player for 10 consecutive years, and these kids grew up nearly their entire life gaining an interest in golf because of him. He’s also upped the level of ability tremendously. Today, there’s so many good players that the top players change almost every month but Tiger held that role for 10 consecutive years.
SMA’s golf team has their first tournament March 11. Their practices will take place at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Riverside Country Club, Eastmoreland Golf Course and Colwood Golf Center.