The draining, exhausting game of…golf?
GC golfers dispel the relaxed, easy-going narrative surrounding the game
LILIA STARNES | STAFF WRITER | OCT. 9, 2019
Slow and steady—two words that describe the sport of golf.
Those unfamiliar with the game may not expect long and mentally exhausting to also be apt descriptions.
Insight into the team’s busy schedule and how they juggle the student-athlete lifestyle can give an onlooker a whole new appreciation for the game.
“This year we started team practices for the first time in program history,” said Drew Duffie, senior golf team member. “We work in groups, so we will split up into two groups of four. Then we have individual practices which for most of us is five to six days a week.”
In addition to weekly practices, the golf team often travels on the weekends to attend two-day tournaments that normally take place Monday and Tuesday. Contradictory to a two-hour basketball or soccer game, a 36 hole game of golf lasts 12 hours without breaks.
“You’re out there all day without breaks, but coach brings us water and someone will bring us a sack lunch,” Duffie said.
“I went through 15 bottles of water and four or five bottles of Gatorade that day,” said Alex Wells, red-shirt junior golfer.
To brace themselves for the long day out on the green, the golf team has 6 a.m. practices twice a week where they do ropes and sprints to improve their cardiovascular health.
“We do intense cardio workouts that way you feel what your body is going to be like when it is tired,” Wells said.
Mental strength is equally as important as cardiovascular strength when out on the golf course for 12 hours.
“Golf is mentally draining because it is a really long game so you have to be patient when you realize that you’re tired in order to think correctly,” Wells said.
Since the team travels for tournaments and practices multiple times a day, where does school fit in?
“You just have to balance it more in the season,” Duffie said. “It is hard to practice as much as we would like because we are traveling so we have three or four days to get all our school work done.”
For the golf team, time management is key in order to balance the roles of an athlete and a student and, if they are lucky, a normal human being with a social life.
“It is important for me to be able to get away, and I’ll practice really hard so having friends outside of the team and doing other things helps me not kill my brain,” Duffie said.
When Duffie and Wells are out on the course, they are not just playing a game of golf. They are building new friendships with golfers from all around the world.
“It is cool because in our division we meet a lot of foreigners,” Duffie said. “That is the cool thing about golf— we are out there for 12 hours and get to build these relationships with guys from other teams and learn about their country and culture.”