An Open Letter to the Stanford Golf Class of 2020
In the midst of my last campaign as a Stanford golfer, I thought I’d use my status as a washed-up, crusty old veteran to dispense some advice that you boys may or may not want to hear:
-First off, make sure you do some work in the gym before you show up in September. It pays to be able to hold your own on the VersaClimber right off the bat (just ask Tank), and Tuesday and Thursday mornings will be a lot more fun if you know your way around a weight room.
-Take it easy in the classroom your first quarter. Some of the best advice I got early in my freshman year was to “treat getting used to Stanford like a 4-unit class”. There’ll be plenty of time to load up on units or take Math 51. Spend your fall quarter making friends and sharpening your game.
-Treat each tournament (and qualifying) like it’s Q-School. If you do the math (which I didn’t my freshman year), you’ll only have about 50 opportunities to compete for the Cardinal during your stint. Make the most of them.
A lesson that I’ve only recently learned is the importance of reminding yourself daily of the overarching goal: to win a national championship. During your time at Stanford, you’ll meet absolutely incredible people. You’ll have friends who will head off to fantastic summer internships, and friends who’ll be spending nearly every waking hour studying and working to excel in the classroom. It’s very easy to feel like you need to compete with them. Resist that urge. Remember what you’re here to do, and don’t get distracted. You have an opportunity that very few have, and I wish I had realized the importance of that opportunity earlier in my career. You have the privilege of being a part of one of the best programs in college golf, and the best athletic program in the country. Remember that every day.
As Coach Ray is fond of saying, “Stanford Golf is like a train. You get on, and then after four years, you get off. It’s up to you what mark you’ll leave in those four years.” Well boys, my time on the train is almost up. And I’m rooting for you. You’ll know me as I knew guys like David Chung and Steve Ziegler, as a face remembered vaguely from recruiting visits. You’ll hear stories about me, and as a freshman you’ll laugh along with the rest of the team, even though you don’t get the inside joke. You’ll see me at alumni matches and occasionally lurking around before football games, and you’ll be unsure whether I recognize you or know your names.
Go get ‘em boys.