2022 Golf season has been ‘Up-to-Par’

Lexi Wachen, Lead Features Editor

In 2020, we experienced surge after surge: infection rates, political influence, financial debt, media bias. Another one? Golf. Since the start of the pandemic, the National Golf Federation(NGF), showed a 1.5 million increase in participation compared to the year before[2019], the largest net increase in 17 years. With a total of 16 players, a roster nearly triple the size of the past, the Masters Golf team mirrors this pattern as they head into the 2022 spring season. 

Of the 16 players on the roster, 40% are freshmen and nearly 80% had never played in a ‘real match’ prior to their first meet on April 1. 

Prior to the start of the season, head coach Gregg Schlapp, and assistant coach Robert Fish made three requirements to the team: 1) players had to already own a set of golf clubs, 2) they’ve had to play on a golf course before, and 3) that “course” couldn’t only be ‘mini-golf’. 

Schlapp added how by making these guidelines as opposed to formal “tryouts” like in the past, they would be collecting a tight group of students who wanted to improve their skill level. 

He said, “The biggest advantage of this is that everyone who’s interested, plays. It’s a great experience for those who haven’t played before and just the sheer amount of people who showed up has been the biggest accomplishment so early in the season.”

Because of the large roster, coaches have to elect which players will participate in each meet. This is typically determined by the punctuality of students leading up to the meet, as well as the recent progress observed by coaches. 


Captain Spencer Roberson reflected upon the positive changes made since last season, highlighting the team’s enthusiasm and support. He said, “It’s definitely been really nice to not wear masks. [With such large numbers], it has been a much better team environment and I’m excited for the remainder of the season.” 

However, one of the biggest disadvantages has been not having a course to practice on prior to meets. Because most of their practices happen at the driving range, assuming good weather, students may feel less prepared going into the meets. 

Despite this, students have grown to rely on and support their teammates regardless of level and experience. Junior Hannah Florian joined the golf team just this season, reflecting what it was like to take part in a ‘real’ meet. 

She said, I was very excited to experience playing a competitive golf match for the first time. I felt nervous at the first tee off but then I got used to the feel of the game and ended up really enjoying it. 

Florian later mentioned how supportive the team has been throughout the whole season. She said, “The team has been wonderful; we all have a great connection with each other, and are super encouraging during practices and games.”

Junior Maddie Marlowe noted that even so early in the season, the players have created a cohesive environment to set individual goals and grow as a group.  She said, “I am most looking forward to becoming a better player and teammate! Even so early in the season everyone has been super supportive of each other and I’m really excited to see what the rest of the season brings.”

Despite the location challenges and weather barriers, Schlapp, still, remains optimistic towards the remainder of the season. He said, “My main hope for the team is to build a positive, competitive environment where students feel excited to play golf and to improve their skills.”