New golf team forms: a first person perspective

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New golf team forms: a first person perspective

The Northlake golf team was only newly formed this year after students unexpectedly joined.

The Northlake golf team was only newly formed this year after students unexpectedly joined.

The Northlake golf team was only newly formed this year after students unexpectedly joined.

The Northlake golf team was only newly formed this year after students unexpectedly joined.

Kara Lewis, Staff Reporter

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“I just want you to go out there and have fun,” Coach Anthony Agresta told three very nervous girls. I, junior Kara Lewis, along with sophomore Natalie Newberry and freshman Bella Clouatre made up those three girls. For the first time in Northlake Christian Schools history, the school had been able to send a girls team to the Division II Region II Girls Golf Tournament.

“It was pretty cool being on the first ever girls golf team at regionals and [it] was a lot of fun,” Newberry said.

After soccer, my main sport, ended I started looking for another way to stay involved in school athletics and one lovely afternoon I found myself walking into Coach Agresta’s office, asking about golf. He was willing to let me try golf, even though I had never played before. Honestly, I was expecting to be terrible.

“One day, I walked in to talk to Coach Agresta about golf [and] he said that there was just no one wanting to play. Then around midday, I went back and he said that we [were going] to have a golf team because, almost like a miracle, people joined the team,” two year Northlake golf team member Nate Snyder said.  

I arrived at our first practice, along with Emma Robinson and Natalie Newberry, also new golfers, ready to learn. I had never swung a golf club in my life but thanks to coach, many tough days and help from others, I soon understand the mechanics and the swing came very natural.

“Golf? Yes, you heard right, Golf. I would have never imagined that I would be playing golf, but my pals and I decided to be spontaneous and join. Now, let me just say, this sport is very very hard. The guys on TV make it look like easy money,” Robinson said.

After three practices of just us girls, returning team members, Bella Clouatre and Snyder, and new players to the sport, sophomore Caleb Lewis and freshman Jackson Fontanille, all joined our daily golf routine. Our team grew closer together and we all started to become decent or better golfers.

“The good competitive spirits always kept us striving to get better,” Lewis said.

“[After a few practices], when I stepped onto that fresh Beau Chene grass, I felt like I was an actual golfer because putting and chipping was just about the only thing I could do,” Robinson recalled.

As we practiced more together, we grew closer as a team.

“At the beginning of the season, I think we were a little dysfunctional, but after one or two practices we started to really get along and work better together. For most of us, it was our first year and so the atmosphere became very encouraging,” Lewis said.

“My favorite memory was probably just hanging out with everyone on the team because we all had so much fun together,” Newberry commented.

Because of golf, we became a little ‘family.’

“I’ve gotten to know the members of the team very well. I believe that if it were not for golf, I may not have known some of the team members like I do now. I can now say that I have found some quality friends, and a quality team to play a sport with,” Fontanille said.

Although the season did not end how we would have liked, myself missing qualifying for state by a few shots and Nate not shooting his best at districts, we all learned a lot.

“I learned that the best skill to have in golf is patience,” Lewis said.

Personality, golf taught me how to control my frustration when I hit a poor shot, missed an easy putt, or got stuck in a bunker.

“I have learned that in order to succeed at this sport you have to have composure and not get angry, but just laugh it off and enjoy the learning process,” Robinson said.

“I now have a lot more respect for golfers, seeing as swinging a club the right way is a lot harder than it looks,” Fontanille said.

People tend to think of golf as a ‘nerdy’ sport, or they view it as lame, unimportant and boring, but golf is quite the opposite. The mental side of the game is very intense. You have to focus on the ball, your grip, the turn of your hips, your feet, your alignment, closing your club face, and much more, all at once, every single swing. Being physically fit is important because each match is strenuous. Walking and playing 18 holes, carrying or pushing your golf bag, being in the hot sun, and keeping your brain engaged for at least three hours is very difficult, especially as teenagers.

“It’s all a mental game and that’s why being on a team like [ours] helps you keep your head focused,” Lewis said.

Over all, the Northlake golf team had a great year, with lots of laughter and hard work.

“There wasn’t a day at practice that didn’t involve laughing or coach wondering what was wrong with the team,” Lewis commented.

Northlake almost lost the ability to say that it had a golf team and yet nobody seemed to care except Nate Snyder, who has played for 13 years.

“It [is] because of them (Kara, Emma, Natalie, Jackson, Caleb) that Northlake still has a golf team. And for that, they are all deserving of a thanks for their sacrifice. This was definitely the greatest year for golf even though we did not win anything,” Snyder said.

The golf team this year was special. We are already excited about next year because I know that I can qualify for state, which would make school history, and with the recruitment of one more guy, the boys can register as a team, and hopefully place well. The team has much potential, and with lots of practice, I know this small ‘family’ can do great things.