The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Golfers make history with tournament win

At golf tournaments throughout the country, the crowds are most boisterous when a golfer manages to hit a great shot despite how deep a ball is buried in grass or sand, or obstacles lie or stand in the ball’s path to the green. Likewise, after one car and two players’ sets of clubs were stolen while the team trained in Arizona for Spring Break, the Grinnell Men’s Golf Team is playing the best golf in the team’s history.
“Neither Carlos [Lu ’10] or Ethan [Kenvarg ’12] used that [theft] as an excuse, although they had every right to,” said Team Captain Pete Kieselbach ’10. “Almost immediately they rented clubs, went out there, played well and did not complain about it. Their positivity in the face of that, I think, rubbed off on the team.”
Both Kieselbach and Coach Brian Jaworski downplayed the importance of the Arizona incident. Instead, they emphasized going forward and they hope the team continues its recent success.
“That Arizona Trip is so far—so far behind us right now because we have already played two matches,”  Jaworski said. “We made school history in our last meet.”
At the Des Moines Area Community College Invitational on April 1, the team won its first title since 1973 and shot a 301, the lowest score in team history. Kieselbach led the way and won the first individual title of his career, shooting an even par 72.
The win was especially impressive considering the invite the day before. The Pioneers placed sixth In the Simpson Invitational, which was the first tournament the team played since returning to Iowa from Spring Break. Kieselbach managed to shoot a team low 75, while other players on the team struggled to score below 80, finishing with a team score of 322. The Pioneers’ recent success has been a team effort, and Coach Jaworski will be the first to tell you.
“One of the things that is hard about coaching golf is that there are very few times when everyone is happy with their own performance, so this leaves the team fragmented,” Jaworski said. “What I have been trying to do with this team is to turn it into where we would be able to identify, did we win the meet, or lose the meet—as a team?”
Coach Jaworski’s attempt to shift the individuals’ competitive focuses to team wins and losses, rather than personal success, is unconventional because golf is traditionally regarded as an individual sport.
“In a sport dominated by individual accomplishment, this team has the attitude that individual scores definitely mean something, but we are not satisfied with one or two guys going low…We have been there and done that,” Jaworski said. “Kieselbach, he’s been at the top of the conference for the past three seasons—where has that gotten us? Nowhere.”
In order to address the issue of individualism that plagued the team in past seasons, the Pioneers have been stressing the importance of team camaraderie and cohesion since the beginning of this season. The team mindset is evident in the commitment each player has made to practice.
“I would attribute our success to our hard work in Arizona and Grinnell, [where] we played a lot, we practiced a lot, and we did things together as a team,” Kieselbach said. “We are physically and mentally prepared to play tournament golf.”
And hard work never hurt anybody’s golf.

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