How Boy’s Golf Survived the Pandemic

Sydney Rothstein, Editor in Chief

Boys’ golf was one of the sports that was hand picked by CHASSA to continue as usual this past fall amidst the 2nd wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Golf is a game played at 6 feet apart and outdoors, so it was much easier for social distancing guidelines to be followed. 

 

Nevertheless, the season was subject to changes that made contact tracing easier in the event of a positive case. Players from opposing schools typically mix in their pairings at high school tournaments, but this season schools went to playing as team units.  By allowing pairings to form based on team, contact between players from different schools was greatly limited. 

 

Thinking beyond COVID, this change altered the team dynamic and development of individual players. Coach Ed Weaver took the unique circumstances of this season as an opportunity to teach his players that “[g]olf is the ultimate sport in honesty.” When players are grouped together by school it is easy for tournaments to feel more like practice than competition, making it easier to lose focus and make physical and mental mistakes. Weaver sought to combat this by reminding his players of the fundamental lessons that golf teaches. 

 

Although the situation presented challenges, Weaver also spoke to the difference in the chemistry of the team, saying “[i]n each tournament, that was 5 more hours of team bonding with the guys than we would normally have. All of the boys really got to see how the others played.”  This change meant that the team had much more time to bond over the course of the season than they normally would. Weaver cited that “[i]n golf you face adversity, and players got to know how their teammates each faced adversity.” This year, the boys had the chance to play the typically individual sport of golf as a true team. 

 

Because of the contact tracing changes, the number of players per school allowed to participate in each tournament changed as well, decreasing from 5 to 4 or 3 (the maximum number of players allowed per pairing). Since fewer players were allowed to participate in league events, many young team members did not get the experience they were looking for in tournaments.

 

Even with these setbacks, Weaver is excited about new talent and anticipates a strong team next season. The team will miss its graduating seniors Luc Blondeau and Jesse Horn. Christopher, a junior at Longmont Christian, will be back to lead the team next year. Weaver mentioned many exciting new players, including promising freshman Emmett Shell, saying “[h]e has a lot of potential to grow, and he learned a lot by playing in the events.” He is hopeful that more players will have tournament experience next season so the team can reach its full potential. At the end of the season the team finished third out of a ten team league, and Ed is looking to improve as the team grows. 

 

It is difficult to know how COVID changes will carry over into the girls’ golf season this spring. However, prospects are promising considering boys’ golf was able to survive the fall spike of the coronavirus pandemic.  In a world where the only constant is change, golf is a sport that can roll with the times.