COLUMN: Golf more than meets the eye

By Tausifur Osmani

Within the toil of a five-hour match, the athletic ability of a golfer can sometimes go unappreciated.

To an un-acquainted spectator, golf may seem monotonous and slow paced. However, a person who understands the nuances of golf will know about the pressure that golfers experience.

Golf is one of the few unique sports where athleticism, technique, and composure must all function in unison in order to produce a good score. Of these three elements the role of a player’s mentality and ability to maintain composure in the face of pressure is by far the most vital facet in a golfer’s arsenal.

Eight-year RCC golf head coach Steve Sigloch attests to the importance of being mentally strong by implementing the cerebral aspect of the game as a hallmark to his coaching philosophy. Sigloch stressed that he scouts players that are grinders and individuals that stay optimistic through bad games.

“In golf you’re gonna have some bad holes, some bogies, some double bogies, but I like to see how the guys react to adversity,” he said.

Sigloch’s principles have paid off during his reign as coach considering the fact that the team has been to the state championship three times in the last eight years as well as helping the Tigers achieve their first state championship in 2014 after a twenty-three year drought spanning from 1991.

A prime product of Sigloch’s coaching philosophy is evident in the play of sophomore Paul Bradvica who is the only returning player on the team as well as the team’s 23 player.

As the veteran member in the team, Bradvica knows about the toll a season takes on the body and mind. He understands that all the top players in the world possess good mindsets which is why he developed a relaxed attitude toward the game to worry less about making mistakes in order to stay in rhythm.

“A lot of the time when your in pressure situations you’re afraid of messing up and that’s the whole reason you mess up,” Bradvica said.

Fellow teammate Jordan Sams also encompasses a veterans mentality despite this year being his first season, Sams is not the typical freshman considering the fact that he is the oldest player on the team.

Throughout his golfing years, Sams indicated that he was able to mold a more refined mental game over that period of time.

“I feel being a little bit older than a lot of the competitors out here, I can handle my emotions better and take it inwards rather than show it outwards,” Sams said.

Many individuals may not realize that confronting pressure in golf is a completely different element as opposed to other team sports.

In sports like basketball, football, and soccer you have the option of going at your opponents directly. However, in golf a player’s biggest opponent is the course itself.

The contours and delineations of a course are what sparks the frustrations of a golfer.

A golf swing involves one fluid motion where technique and athleticism must coincide with each other in order to produce a favorable result.

A strong cerebral game serves as the adhesive factor that ultimately holds the technique and athleticism in place in order to produce an effective swing or putt.  

Being cognizant about the elements pertaining to the game of golf will drastically change an individual’s perception of the game.

If people are properly acquainted with the refinements of golf, their viewing experience prove to be more engaging and enjoyable. This is indeed a game where the mind is truly valued and attests to why golf is widely renowned as the gentlemen’s game.