Varsity golf on par for the new season

Sports

Although the golf team lost their first match of the season to Hamden Hall Country Day School on April 5, they are looking forward to turning things around.

Head Coach Michael Wolf is new this year and is looking forward to a great season with the team. For their first match, they played the number one junior amateur team in the country, so it was a very humbling experience. “The game was a great learning experience and the most important thing is the relationship we built with our team as well as having fun,” Coach Wolf said. 

For the first match of the season, KO played away at New Haven Country Club against host team Hamden Hall whose No. 1 golfer Ben James is the No. 1 Junior Amateur golfer in the Country. James shot a round of 34 two under par, earning Medalist honors and leading the team to victory. 

Losing 202-230 wasn’t the result Coach Wolf wanted, but he said it was still a great way to start the season at a beautiful course. “Losing sparks a competitive edge,” Coach Wolf said. “Nothing better than healthy competition.” There was great camaraderie and both teams had a great time. Junior Captain Cody Brew shot 42, eighth-grader Austin Perkins shot 44, junior Max Sams shot 46, sophomore Cloud Que shot 52, freshman Ryan Sadowsky shot 50, and freshman Alex Braunstein shot 48. The golf course was in fantastic shape and provided both teams with an excellent challenge. 

For the second match, KO came out on fire against Cheshire Academy. “We finished on top – 206 to their score of 283,” Coach Wolf said. “This was our first home match, and Gillette is not an easy course to play by any means, and our kids came out to play.” Brew shot the Medalist round of 1 over par 37, Sams 39, Perkins 40, Sadowsky 47, Braunstein 43, and senior Lily Liu 49. “I am very proud of how they competed and represented KO,” Coach Wolf said. 

Coach Wolf believes in teaching the fundamentals as a whole so the players feel confident in all areas of the game. His goals for the season are for the players to improve as golfers and to truly develop a love for the game while at the same time letting it be competitive. He prides himself on the idea that you practice the way you compete, and if you practice through competition, you are more prepared. “If you don’t practice properly, then you won’t be successful when the time comes to perform at your best,” Coach Wolf said.

Sams is most looking forward to traveling to different courses around the state. “There are so many good courses that I haven’t had the chance to play on, and this is a great opportunity for me to play different courses that I can’t usually play on,” Sams said. 

This season the team’s main goal is to develop as individuals and as a team. “Individually, we all want to get better and improve our game in the areas where we are the weakest,” Sams said. “For the team, we want to continue to grow and shoot better scores each time we play.”

Sams’s favorite part about the golf team is the group of kids that he plays and practices with. “All of the players want to be there and are always encouraging each other when we play, and it’s a great group of girls and guys having fun,” he said. 

Perkins is thrilled to be able to be part of an Upper School varsity team. “My goals for this season are to play well and I am looking forward to playing at our new home course Gillette Ridge,” he said.

Brew is thrilled to be part of such a great team and is super excited for this season. “Our goal as a team is to win the founders and the KIT tournament, but also we are a very young team so more importantly we want to develop into a team that can compete with the top teams in the founders on any given day,” Brew said. His favorite part of the varsity team is being around people who also have a passion for golf. “Everyone on our team has the desire to be there and compete, which is great, and over time, we will grow into a very strong team,” he said.

Coach Wolf is really looking forward to watching the team grow. “The biggest thing that I would like to see is people finish the season better than they started,” Coach Wolf said. Coach Wolf truly thinks that when you win, you win, and when you lose, you learn.

Saturday, April 30, the KO Varsity team is away and competes next against Berkshire School, Williston Northampton School, and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.The golf team then travels to Pomfret to take on Pomfret on Wednesday, May 5. Later in the season, KO will play in the Coppola Cup, The Founders Tournament, and on May 25, KO will host The Kingswood Invitational tournament at Oak Ridge Golf Club in Massachusetts. 

“While golf is an individual sport, it takes the whole team to come to play,” Coach Wolff said. “This team is led by Captain Cody Brew, who’s work ethic and desire to compete at a High level is second to none,” Coach Wolf said.

Coach Wolf is optimistic that the KO golf team will grow through the season and have a lot of fun in the process. Even off to a rocky start, we wish the golf team the best of luck this season and are very proud of the amazing players they will become!