Congrats on winning yet another Regional tournament John. Was it bittersweet not being there to share it with your team?
Thank you. I was pretty upset that I was not able to be there and share the victory with my team, however I was more excited than any victory when I heard the news about the win given the player situation and the comeback that my team made.
How does UVA continue to perform so consistently well at these events?
I feel that our team's success is a result of hard work and dedication throughout the school year. Our team members find the time between schoolwork and other extracurricular activities to make it out to Birdwood and practice.
How often do you practice and what does a typical practice look like?
We only have one scheduled team practice a week but most of our players get out to practice at least 2 or 3 more times during the week. Before tournaments we have qualifiers to determine the roster.
What is your tryout process? What is the typical score that qualifies someone for the team?
When we first started out, we had to scramble just to form a squad, asking anyone who played golf if they would like to join our team. We have grown a lot since then. This past year we had 60 players sign up for tryouts and we took six really solid players. It was a two round process where the current team members would observe how the players carried themselves around the course. The team members took both the scores and their tryout observations into account when selecting new members. The University has an unprecedented number to great golfers. We just try to determine who will best for the team when making a decision.
How beneficial is it that Birdwood GC is affiliated with the school?
Having Birdwood as the University golf course is a huge asset to the team. The course really encourages students to come out and play. They are very accommodating to the club team, allowing us to book tee times and events in advance. The course and facilities are exceptional and the team considers ourselves very fortunate to call this course home.
What would you like to see the club golf team do going forward to continue this success?
I feel that the team has developed an operating model that will be sustainable for the years to come. I would like to see the team's leadership continue to run the team efficiently. In terms of golf, these past two years we have won seven of our eight regional tournaments and I would like the team to continue this success in the future.
What is the makeup of your team? Is it mostly upperclassmen, and how do you feel about the team in the next couple of years once you graduate?
The makeup of our team is mostly underclassmen. Our main contributors are also freshman so I feel that our team can only get better in the next couples of years.
Are there any one or two club golf players who you think have made this team so successful in recent years?
Without a doubt Christian Dolan has been an irreplaceable member to this team. He did not have the year he would have liked to have last season, but this season he has been playing to his fullest potential. He is taking over presidential duties this semester and has been doing a phenomenal job. I have all the confidence in the world that I am leaving the team in good hands.
Another key member to the team is Zach Scharf. He has not played much golf the past two years due to his workload in the University's School of Commerce, but his financial prowess has enabled this team to receive the funding it needs to operate.
What is your team goal for this season?
The team's goal this season is to win Nationals. My first year we came in 2nd, my third year we came in 4th twice, and last semester we came in 3rd. The team is playing at a high level right now and we are hoping to maintain this level of play at the Kampen Course next weekend.
How often do you guys hang out outside of practice and tournaments? Has the team become a community/tight knit group of friends?
The team has developed into a close knit group of friends over the past couple years. Golf brings us together, but we also hang out away from the golf course. We'll go grab food a few times a week and try to meet up when we are out on the weekends.
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