Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Sam Reategui reflects on four years of golf at Carleton

<m Reategui, a senior member of Carleton Men’s Golf, grew up in Highland Park, Illinois and started playing golf when he was 13 years old. From that point on, he never let the game go. Finishing the fall of his senior year with a scoring average of 78.6, he lead the Knights to solid finishes in 6 tournaments. His fall was capped off by an amazing performance at the MIAC Championships, where he finished tied for 15th and shot the third best MIAC Championship score in Carleton men’s golf history. However, although he performed well this fall, back injuries had kept him sidelined for the better part of two years. His story is one of ups and downs, but a strong finish to his career will be implanted in the minds of his friends, teammates and coaches for years to come.

When asked how his four years of Carleton golf have been overall, Reategui said, “I would say that having the opportunity to play varsity golf in college has been one of the most fruitful experiences of my life so far. The friendships and experiences that I have been able to make, both on and off of the course, have been invaluable to me.” Carleton men’s golf is coached by Minnesota golfing legend Jerry Erickson, who at the young age of 88 is still leading the charge for the Knights. His stories and golf swing help are just part of the many great things Erickson brings to Carleton Men’s Golf. “Jerry Erickson has by far been the best coach that I have ever had in my competitive career,” Reategui said. “His positive attitude is infectious and makes everyone really want to play their best golf for him. He is incredibly supportive of everything you’re doing on the course, but always off the course as well.”

Reategui’s back injury was a slight setback for his golf career. While he was unable to play, he has learned valuable lessons. “Injuring my back at the end of my freshman year was an extremely difficult process to go through because of the fact that I missed most of my sophomore and junior seasons,” he said. “Although it was difficult to adjust to not being able to play, Jerry and the team were extremely supportive in my rehab process, ensuring that I still played a vital role as an assistant coach. This year it taught me that the team’s attitude during practice is important for our success in tournaments. We needed to be more competitive during practice in order to play well this year.” His overall back health and Carleton’s competitive practices helped Reategui record his best collegiate season, something he is extremely proud of. “Being able to play extremely well my senior year at the MIAC championships, and coincidentally due to injury my first MIAC championships, felt incredible,” he said. “The entire season I had been putting together rounds where I had 15 to 16 good holes, but two or three holes that really hurt me. But this weekend I really played 54 very good holes. I felt like I had full control over all parts of my game, and being able to have one of the best performances in school history at the MIAC championships was an extremely proud moment.”

Reategui has cherished the time he has spent with his teammates while being at Carleton. He has formed lasting friendships with the other members of his class, David Perl ’19 and Aaron Sparby ’19. “Being able to spend the past four years with Perl and Sparby has been an absolute privilege,” he said. “David Perl and I have been friends since we were in kindergarten and grew up playing golf together, so it felt very natural that we continued playing golf together in college. Being able to play with Sparby has been fun. He can always put a smile on your face whether you are playing well or poorly. He has been one of the best teammates I have ever had.” Reategui also commented on his playing experience with the newest member of the golf team, myself. “Since about halfway through freshman year, we had always joked with Brendon that he should join the golf team and play with us in the fall,” he said. “We were extremely happy when he decided to take us up on it finally and play on the golf team this year. He really outplayed all of our expectations and we were all incredibly impressed with his competitive attitude, high level of skill, and great sportsmanship. My only regret was that he did not come play with us sooner.”

Looking ahead to the spring golf season, the Knights have four tournaments. Specifically, Reategui hopes to close out his senior year with a win at the Rusty Putter match against St. Olaf. “This spring season, what I am really looking forward to is the Carleton-Olaf Rusty Putter Match,” he said. “It is truly one of our favorite events of the year, and both teams always bring their best golf to the competition. We currently hold the Rusty Putter and hope to win it again this year.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *