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.
Steven Kearney ‘13