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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s golf tries to find positives after a season of difficult competition

<rleton Men’s Golf finished ninth out of ten teams this year the MIAC Championships in a field that included some very tough competition. Though the results might not have been what the team hoped for, the season was still a positive one for the Knights. Captain Jeff Yoo ’18 had this to say about the team’s fall, “Our season went relatively well. Although there were moments when we didn’t play to our highest potential, I am proud of the way our team performed this past fall. I look forward to our spring season.”

Although they faced tough competition all season, the Knights put on a good team performance to end the fall. At the MIAC Championships, they were able to post their second-best team score since the 2014-15 season. “The MIAC tournament was a reminder of just how strong the men’s conference is.  Even with a bad second round in the rain which stopped play for a while, the average tournament score was second best Carleton had since joining the conference 33 years ago.  Most interesting to me was the final day when the 302 was the best ever posted by Carleton (80, 76, 74, 72) and we still finished last for the day except for Macalester” said head Men’s Golf Coach Jerry Ericksen.

This golf frenzy in the MIAC can be largely blamed on recruiting according to Coach Ericksen. Ericksen stated, “There is a mad rush to recruit golfers for the other teams, but we continue to try to improve with students that largely arrive on campus with an interest in golf. I am still not impressed with aggressive recruiting of prospects simply based on their golfing skill. If that is the direction, they have the wrong coach.”

The fierce competition does not seem to dampen the spirits of the team though. Senior golfer Evan Anderson said, “As always, the atmosphere surrounding the team was positive. Our coach does his best to make sure we aren’t too hard on ourselves following a bad practice, qualifying round or tournament. Further, our players continually demonstrated support for one another; whether a player shot 75 or 95, he knew that his teammates had his back.”

A positive team atmosphere is obviously important to the Men’s Golf team, but nearly as important is their holistic approach to college athletics. Anderson stated, “Our coach has always preached a hierarchy of priorities that goes “health, academics, athletics;” if one’s health or academics are in bad shape, they shouldn’t be practicing or competing. Players were regularly committed to helping one another improve, both on and off the golf course.”

Commitment issues are not a problem for the squad who saw some very strong individual performances this season. While the team had fun on the course this year, the golfers also enjoyed their time together off the green. Anderson said, “My favorite aspect of being a part of the golf team here is the camaraderie that comes along with it. I would describe golf as being more ‘social’ than other sports. Since you can spend upwards of 5 hours playing golf with the same two or three people on a given day, it’s important that you enjoy the company of those that you play with. Our team is fortunate enough to have a group of guys that are easy to get along with.”

Reflecting on his time with Carleton golf, Yoo stated “I get to play golf with a great group of guys. How can life get any better than that? It is a privilege to play on the Carleton golf team. I have loved every moment of it.”

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