If you’re like most people, you click past the golf channels on TV without a second thought. Maybe you’ve hit the mini-golf course with your friends for a casual round of putt-putt. However, those who truly take the time to connect with the sport, including the 12 players on Corvallis High’s own golf team, often develop a passion that is more than just a “hobby”. Many students at CHS are unaware of the hard work and patience it takes to master the sport of golf. However, even having a small understanding of a topic that might not typically strike your interest can expand your horizons and open doors to new opportunities. Take the time to learn a bit about golf– knowledge never hurts.
Usually played with eighteen holes, golfers work their way from the teeing ground where they take the first swing, to the fairway, rough, green, and finally into the hole. Each hole is labeled with a par– the number of strokes expected from the first shot off of the tee to the final putt. The par of each hole is combined to produce a final par, the expected total shot tally between the eighteen holes. Usually, a final par of a golf course is in the low 70s, each hole being between a par 3 and 6. In the end, the lower the final score, the better.
On the surface, golf can be misinterpreted as a simple game. However, the hidden complexity of the sport requires that players have a certain level of maturity and wit. At each of 18 holes, golfers must take into account factors that can and do affect the path of the ball: wind, trees, distance, and other obstacles including bunkers (sand traps) and water hazards such as lakes and rivers. Based on the surroundings, golfers select a club from their repertoire. While professional golfers carry as many as 14 clubs, high school players generally require fewer. Nonetheless, the selection process is crucial in determining the accuracy of a given shot. Clubs found in a golf caddy typically include woods, used for the longest ranges; irons, generally used for shots from the fairway; wedges, for shorter shots into the green; and putters, for the final shots into the hole. However, these categories contain subdivisions further expanding a golfer’s options.
Golf takes more mental training than anything else. Under pressure and expectations, maintaining composure and precision is a difficult feat. A golfer’s mind must be trained to stay calm even under the most pressure-filled circumstances and after frustrating misses. Negativity on the course can lead to tension in the arms and mishits. The ability to keep a positive mentality is what can truly define a skilled golfer.
If golf has piqued your interest, consider spending an afternoon at the Corvallis Golf City Par-3 located on Highway 20 between Corvallis and Albany. For those wanting to represent CHS as a golfer, spring of next year brings a new golf season, so go out for the team in 2019 and become a part of the Spartan golf legacy.
NOTE: The High-O-Scope reached out to members of both the women’s and men’s team, who both declined further comment.