Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ashwin Arasu Blog Post Fall 2017

Blog Post Fall 2017

Well, I guess I’m The Truth.    
First day on campus, Dakota must 've done this.

There may or may not be some cool story behind the nickname, but by our first team meeting in September, I was already accustomed to the boys calling me Truth. It is definitely a name that needs living up to. I’ll take it.

Those first couple weeks in preseason were a blast. We were lucky enough to stay on the third floor of the brand-new Meier Hall. School hadn’t officially started, which meant no class, no late-night studying, and (as I have now come to appreciate) no  irksome coding assignments. Our days were simple. We played golf together. We ate together. We hung out together. It was a great way to bond with the team and get acclimated to life on campus.

During that time, we had the honor of playing against the Army golf team in the Bush Cup. The friendly match took place at Olympic Club, and was a great opportunity to be around some of the most dedicated, loyal, and honorable individuals, who have made it their life to serve our country. We spent a whole day with them, from breakfast to 36 holes of competition to dinner, and learned a lot. Hearing about the rigors of training and life at West Point, from college kids like us, put things in perspective.  I’m not sure if the hours and hours we spend studying and practicing at Stanford can be compared to the mental and physical intensity that the cadets put themselves through.  This is a reminder that can help push us to push ourselves.  Having even half the level of dedication and discipline as them can get us a long way.  Moreover, it is a reminder that helps us appreciate those who serve our country even more.  
The 18th hole at Olympic Club during the Bush Cup.
Then, school started and we got deeper into our fall season.  In many aspects, life on the Farm became more and more routine.  I had class to go to, every weekday. Workouts came twice a week, every week.  And driving to qualifying rounds meant the team van would be filled with country music, every time.  But routine doesn’t mean boring and it doesn’t get old (even the country music).  I believe that the team understands that reaching a high level in anything, whether it’s golf or school, means doing the little things, everyday.  Knowing this and knowing that our time at Stanford is short makes every class, every workout, every opportunity to practice at Siebel, every qualifying round that much more important.  My first quarter feels like it went by too fast. 
“Big grey” (our team van) took us to some beautiful spots so far! In clockwise order, qualifying at TPC Harding Park, Cal Club, and Halfmoon Bay.

Above, Tiger Woods and Casey Martin at dinner. Below, we traveled in style.
My favorite memory so far was my first college  event, the Nike tournament in Oregon.  We played at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club,which has hosted many prestigious events, like the US Amateur and US Women’s Open. We got to visit and tour Nike’s world headquarters.  At the Nike dinner, we got to witness some great conversation and hear some hilarious stories between four Stanford teammates: our very own Coach Ray, Notah Begay, Oregon Coach Casey Martin, and the Big Cat himself,  Tiger Woods.  

The most exciting part for me was getting to compete against one of the strongest fields in college golf.  I learned a lot about my game.  In the second round, Coach Ray walked with me my whole round. Like clockwork, before every approach shot I was given the yardage to the front of the green. I took from that experience that it takes a system of planning and mindfulness to pick apart a golf course.  I don’t need to be a hero and go for every shot to score my best.  

The event was also important for us, especially after coming in 11th place in Illinois. Early in the year we talked about how we might be underrated, how we might lack the star power of previous years, but also how we still have one of the deepest teams out there.  It came down to the last few holes in Oregon, and we didn’t get the win, but it still was a great confidence boost. We have the resources at Stanford, in our facilities and Coaches, to prepare at the highest level.  We have great group of guys that have the talent and the work ethic to take this team far this year.  We have the potential to achieve great things.

I only have one quarter on the Farm under my belt, but it’s clear to me that this place and these people are really, really special! Go Card!

— Ashwin