Friday, November 5, 2010

Frosh Shane Lebow shares his experience at Isleworth with Tiger Woods

Into the 2nd month of my freshman year here at Stanford I still feel like I am living a dream. I spent much of last year building up expectations of what The Farm would be like, and it has exceeded every one of them. From tournaments, practice, and workouts to classes and dorm life, it has been great! Coming off our recent tournament at Isleworth I am beginning to understand what it means to be a part of a school and a program that is so special.

While down in Florida we had the privilege of spending time with one of Stanford’s most famous alums, Tiger Woods. Growing up idolizing him, it was incomprehensible to me that I would ever get to meet and spend time with one of best athletes of our lifetime.

After the second round, Tiger invited us over to his house for dinner. After a delicious meal of ribs we all sat in the living room, and Coach Ray opened discussion by asking, “Freshmen, you got your questions ready?” While Cameron and I both sat staring at each other hoping the other would think of something, the discussion began with the upperclassmen eventually helping us out. Tiger reminded us how much we are in control of our success in practice and in tournament play. Things like precision, attitude, and shot choice are intangibles that mean everything. What struck me most was the way in which Tiger would do anything to give himself confidence to pull off a shot. I took away more from Tiger’s responses in those two hours than any amount of practice or hours of lessons.

Since my arrival here, Coach Ray has spoken a lot about the history and the future of Stanford Golf. Our first team meeting began with Coach saying: Stanford Golf is a fraternity that will stay with you forever. In Isleworth and with Tiger this rang so true. 15 years removed from being teammates at Stanford, Coach Ray and Tiger sounded like they were back in a team van. Joking about their teammates, freshman roommates, Coach Goodwin, and pranks amongst the team; it could have been any of our team’s conversations now. It was something that I would have never imagined before arriving here; Tiger Woods, after 14 majors, millions of dollars, and 69 professional tournament wins, still couldn’t stop talking about his time at Stanford.

The video below is Tiger hitting on the range with the team watching.

In the beginning fraction of my time here I can already see and look forward to the bond that I will always have with Stanford and more specifically with Stanford Golf.

Looking forward to our event next week at Cordevalle and ending the Fall season on a winning note!

Thanks for the Support and Go Cardinal!

Shane Lebow 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Soph Andrew Yun blogs coming off a great 6-shot win at the Prestige!

Andrew with winner's trophy at the Prestige - click to enlarge
This new school year has brought a bit of the new along with the old. With a new team and a new year brings a new season. But we have the same old goals of winning every tournament and ultimately the biggest prize of all, the NCAA Championship. So far, this new school year has been a continuation of last year's postseason and summer play. 
The win at The Prestige at PGA West is definitely one of my biggest wins, ranking right up there with the Dogwood Invitational earlier in the summer. The Prestige had a totally different feel than the Dogwood because of the college team format. Unlike the Dogwood, I had no idea who my closest competitor was, but I knew I had to continue to play well because the team was counting on me.

Every part of my game was clicking during my play at the Prestige, but one part of my game that stood out was my putting. I believe I averaged 24 putts for the three rounds at the Stadium. I've never putted too well on Bermuda greens before so this is a real confidence booster, especially as we get ready for Isleworth in Florida next week. 
Click to enlarge 3 round scorecards from Andrew's win at the Prestige
The final round was one of the best rounds of tournament golf I've ever played. Knowing how difficult the course and pins were set up, my goal was to play, as Coach puts it, boring golf. Hit fairways and greens and if you don't, give yourself a putt for par. The first six holes at the Stadium course are an important stretch of golf that can make or break your round. Fortunately, I got off to a good start and the momentum just carried through to the end of the round. 

It was extremely exciting to be a part of a young, dynamic lineup. The two freshman played admirably, with Cameron finishing in the top-5 and Shane coming back from a disappointing first round to post a 68 in the second. They really stepped up to the plate when we needed them most. Although we did fall short of winning the tournament, I feel that we got a glimpse of what we, as a team, are capable of doing when a couple guys start playing well in that second round. And it also speaks to the depth of our team. Coach Ray and Coach Rowe say it all the time, but we have 10 competitive golfers that can play and start in the lineup at anytime. There is no other team in the nation that can boast the same. 

My favorite college tournament venue would have to be a tie between the Prestige and Hawaii. Hawaii will always be a week in paradise. However, the dinner at Morton's, staying at Mr. McNealy's house, dinner at Mr. Ray's place, playing the Stadium Course, it all adds up to one of the best trips of the year. Watching Stanford beat USC in arguably one of the most memorably football games of the year definitely puts the icing on the cake!

The team is looking forward to our next tournament, the Isleworth Collegiate, which includes many of the best teams in the nation. We have been practicing efficiently and will continue to work hard so that we can get that first win under our belt!

Thanks for the help and support! 

Go Card!

Andrew Yun '13
PS -- Editor's note - Andrew was named national golfer of the week by Golf Week -

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Soph William Bowen reflects on season after team rounds at Cypress and the Preserve

Stanford offers an unrivaled education and the country’s best golf program, so my decision to make the trek west was a simple one. It wasn’t until I arrived at school, however, that I began to appreciate the many other unique opportunities that the program offers. This past weekend presented such an opportunity.

Carved through cliffs overlooking the Pacific, 17 Mile Drive offers some of California’s most scenic views, and Cypress Point manages to transform many of these spectacular views into a golf course. On our recent trip down to Monterey, we were lucky enough to enjoy golf and lunch at the club.

The next day showcased a similarly astounding golf course cut through the forests of a Monterey wildlife preservation. The course, called the Preserve, is a stunning Tom Fazio design amidst the wild turkeys, boars, and mountain lions of the region.

These two courses were components of a great two-day trip down to Monterey that would not have been possible without the generosity of golf team donors. Prior to enrolling in school, I never really understood the extensive support system that comes with playing on the Stanford golf team. I could not ask for better coaches and teammates, and I recognized this as a recruit, but I never imagined the generosity and support I would receive from the Stanford alumni and friends and all those who make Stanford Golf such a special program.

The team is playing great. We have been working very hard and are determined to succeed this postseason. We have been lucky enough to have many people rooting for us along the way and I know that we will not let them down.

Go Card!
Wilson Bowen

Friday, May 7, 2010

Freshman Steven Kearney crosses into "a new frontier for me"

I thought I had a pretty good feeling of what it would be like to be on the Stanford Men’s Golf Team after playing four years of golf on my high school team.  I was mistaken.  The first week of school almost everyone in my freshman dorm came down with swine flu.  I got sick shortly after and missed one day of qualifying for Palm Springs as well as a week of workouts.  I thought I was going to fall behind in what seemed to be a couple of important weeks of bonding with the team and getting used to the program.  I got an email one night that week from our team captain, Joe Bramlett, telling me I was an important part of the team and that everyone was looking forward to me getting healthy again.  This was something I wasn’t used to at all. Back on my high school team everyone was focused on their own game and not really worried if other guys were struggling.  This was the start to a new frontier for me, knowing that there was a new meaning to what it meant to play for a team.

One of the best perks that comes with playing on the Stanford team isn’t just playing great courses and having an incredible practice facility, but its learning to manage your time.  I thought I understood the concept of that term before I came here, but after almost two and a half quarters I have come to realize that there is a whole new meaning to the phrase.  After morning practice, class, workouts, and homework there isn’t much time to do other things.  Throw in laundry and trying to adapt to life in freshman dorms and at times it can seem seriously overwhelming.  I used to be jealous of the fact that guys down the hall could sleep in until twelve in the afternoon or stay up late every night watching television shows, but learning to become self-disciplined is something that I can honestly say has helped me both on the team and academically this year. 

The team dynamic is truly impressive.  Our practice and training schedule is pretty demanding but everyone on the team sticks to what is expected of them.  Workouts are difficult and at times I feel they can be rather grueling, but when you have nine other guys as well as the coaches all grinding it out at your side, you can almost feel the determination in the room; the determination to win a national championship.  Along with incredible competition, I feel like I have really benefitted from the leadership presented on this team.  Our team captain Joe, really brings a lot of intensity to this team.  He is one of the most dedicated players I have ever met and his determination rubs off on the rest of us when it’s time to work on what we need to do to get better. 

This season has been really fun in the process.  Along with winning tournaments and playing great golf as a team, I’ve experienced some pretty classic moments.  Like when Joe beat me in a chipping contest with only his left hand when his right wrist was injured, or when the team managed to leave me at the airport when leaving for the hotel in Phoenix during ASU’s home tournament.  Although I may not have been very happy when they happened, I’ve come to realize they are pretty funny.  I look forward to more memories like these as we continue our stretch into the post season.

Go Card!

Steven Kearney ‘13  

Friday, April 23, 2010

Soph David Chung writes about his experience on the Farm

Stanford never ceases to amaze me.  Our most recent golf team fundraiser was named "Shultz Cup."  Yes, after the former Secretary of State, George Shultz.  Not only was the event hosted by Mr. Shultz, but its guest list included our very own former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and many notable businessmen from around Palo Alto and Silicon Valley areas.   I could feel success permeating through the air that day.   The people I meet at Stanford inspire me to strive for excellence in all that I do.

I was told that sophomore year is the toughest academic year at Stanford and believe me, it is true!  Juggling intensive school work, morning workouts and golf practices is turning me into a productive and organized person.  If there is one lesson I've learned, it’s the importance of multitasking.  Despite the work, I wouldn't trade my experience at the Farm with anything else!

After winning our last fall event and our first spring start, our team ran into some rough patches.  Our 7th place finish at the US Intercollegiate event, which we hosted at the Farm last week, was especially painful. It made us appreciate earlier wins, but at the same time, it made us realize how much it burns to lose.  As the old saying goes, you learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.  We have put in the hard work and have upped the intensity in our workouts and in practice.  
As the postseason is upon us, we are ready to push each other as a team.  Yesterday, at our Annual Stanford Alumni vs. Varsity Challenge Match,  all 10 of us played and our best five scores were 65, 66, 66, 67, 67, not so bad for a team in a “slump.”  On the immediate horizon for the team is the Pac-10 Championship which starts five days from now (April 26-28). It is at ASU’s Karsten Course in Tempe, a venue that held the ASU Thunderbird Invitational that our team competed in two weeks ago.  It is a Pete Dye course that puts a premium on accurate iron shots and good putting.  The course suits our game and we are ready.  As coach has repeatedly reminded us, we have yet to play our best golf this season.  Maybe that will happen next week...
Go Card!
David Chung ('12)

Monday, April 19, 2010

South African Andre DeDecker has transitioned well to Stanford

The first 7 months of my time at Stanford have certainly been an experience unlike any other I’ve ever had. Coming from over 10,000 miles away to a foreign land and what will be my new home for the next 4 years, I have managed to make the transition into the Stanford community with surprising ease. The intensity of this institution is incredible, and was an immediate shock to the system for me. That being said, I am relishing every opportunity to get involved in what this place has to offer and am thoroughly enjoying the challenges it presents. It’s difficult, thinking back on the past two-and-a-bit quarters, to comprehend just how quickly time has flown by, but that is the nature of a great college like Stanford.

On the golfing front, Stanford Golf has had a mixed year to date. Five top-4 positions out of six events to start with, including back-to-back victories, were followed by a few sub-par events. We will be working harder than ever to set this record straight and get on a winning streak again. Also the chance to meet Tiger Woods was also a memory to cherish, and is without a doubt one of the highlights of my golf career. The self-confidence he displays in how he goes about his business was really inspiring.

With only PAC-10s, Regionals and the NCAA Championship remaining for the year, all our energy will be channeled towards preparing for these events and hopefully walking away with a national title. The team is very eager and motivated to make the most of the next few weeks in order to achieve these goals.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support, we wouldn’t be the same team without it!

Go Cardinal!

Andre DeDecker
Freshman '13

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Top frosh Andrew Yun writes about his 1st year at Stanford

When I first came to campus, I did not know what to expect. Being all by myself without the help of family for the first time really opens up your eyes and makes you take responsibility for your own actions. Doing the laundry is a real pain and I can honestly say that I have the greatest respect for all the mothers and others that do it on a daily basis. As for the golf team, I was trying to prepare myself for the duties that a freshman is entitled to have: sitting in the back of the van and having your head almost the roof of the car each time the car hits a little bump, unloading and loading all the bags, and some other personal favors from each of the upperclassmen.

But those are not the only expectations that I had when I came to Stanford. I knew that when I arrived, I would be joined by nine of my fellow teammates that are willing to dedicate their time and effort so that we can make this year a memorable one, both on and off the golf course. Day in and day out, we have been working hard towards one common goal: to win the NCAA Championship. Although we have had a strong run – winning the Cordevalle and Hawaii – our last three tournaments have been lackluster at best. With our home tournament coming up this next week, we have a chance to right the ship and gain some momentum heading into the postseason.

Finally, I would like to thank my family, the coaches, my teammates, donors, boosters, and everybody else that have been an integral part of Stanford golf for making this possible. Although it has been fun up to this point, I know the best is yet to come.

Go Stanford!

Andrew Yun (’13)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Steve Ziegler, junior All-American writes of aspirations for the Spring

Editor's Note - Written by Stanford's junior All-American Steve Ziegler.

Fortunately, many individuals from our team had competitive summers of amateur golf and GolfWeek deemed Stanford as the top ranked team in the nation at the beginning of the season. Well done everyone! As expected, the crown of being at the top of the Golfweek rankings had its gold as well as its thorns (great events along with great expectations). Rankings don’t equal championships and won’t help us much towards our goal come early June. However, rankings are the product of invitational championships and consistent performance that we strive for at Stanford; they offer us a fairly solid way to measure overall quality as a team over time. I’ll remember clearly when my Mom described a life lesson to me that made a lot of sense, “The higher you are up the ladder, the more people you have looking at your butt.” This was ‘luckily’ our situation. We had and still have good motivation to keep it going, to stay on top.

As a result of incredible play by Peter Uihlein, Morgan Hoffman, and others, Oklahoma State won twice and overtook us in the rankings roughly halfway through the fall season. Today, only days away from the beginning of the Spring Season we are ranked number two behind Oklahoma State with Florida and Florida State close behind. The good news is Oklahoma State along with many other highly ranked schools will be present at Hawaii-Hilo’s Invitational at Mauna Lani early this February, so we’ll have a chance to start off the spring in the same way the Cowboys started off the fall.

Joseph Bramlett fortunately appears healthy again, and the impact of his competitive return to this team in my mind could not be overstated. Freshmen Andre DeDecker and Steven Kearney are eager to contribute and Jordan, Graham, and Wilson are all working hard for their chance to lead Stanford to tournament titles. Qualifying for Hawaii will undoubtedly be intense as usual. After all, Hawaii does seem pretty appealing by mid-winter after a couple months without competition.

The liaison between our dreams and their reality will be having a line-up one through five where each member has a chance to win the event individually. The year prior to my freshman year, 2006-2007, Stanford without exaggeration won nearly every event they entered. It was exciting to watch. They had five All-Americans, a one through five line-up that dominated consistently. What is more exciting is I see that same potential for us this spring. It’s going to take more than words, rankings, and wishes; hopefully all the priors will also be the product of our due work. Let’s Go Card!!!
Steve Ziegler