Golfers improve through rocky season

Senior Jovin Percoco takes some practice swings in the OBHS Main gymnasium.


            Although the team as a whole did not achieve the results they wanted, members of the boys golf team gained experience, refined their skills, and met some personal goals.

            For some players, this season reflected their life-long affinity for the sport. Brian Scarpa said, “When I was younger, I would always watch it with my dad, and I just fell in love with the sport.”

            Senior Connor Hobson’s father also had a similar influence on him. “I started playing golf a long time ago as my dad has been into golf for a long time, and I just inherited the love for the sport,” said Hobson.

            Other members of the team just picked up the sport recently. Matthew Pantaleo imparted, “During online schooling last year, I was looking for a way to get out of the house. My friend took me to a golf course, and I was hooked from there on!”

            The boys all worked to refine their skills throughout the season. “[I was] just trying to improve my game. Trying to get better as an all-around player,” said senior Joseph Roco.

            Hobson, the most consistent performer on the team, set and met some of his own personal goals. “[I want] to lead the team in scoring and help some of the younger guys to improve their games.”

            Scarpa, a sophomore, succeeded in improving his game. “My goals were to score the lowest, and for the team to succeed and win as many matches as possible. I was able to shoot my lowest score yet by shooting a 38,” shared Scarpa.

Senior Joseph Cristi stands on a small square of turf to take some practice swings in the gymnasium.

            These examples of growth and improvement result from proper preparation. Roco explained that warming up with “a bit of putting and chipping,” helps prepare before playing.            Practice hits refine player’s skills while other preparation strategies such as stretching, envisioning the green, and listening to music help their psyche prior to a game. Brian Scarpa stated, “I listen to music, stretch and take some practice swings.” Incorporating strategies that help both a player’s skill and focus during a game allows the player to give his best while avoiding distractions and unexpected obstacles.

            Along with practicing to get ready for a game, warm-ups rely heavily a player’s mentality. In any sport, an athlete’s mindset is a vital part of the game, and this is especially true when it comes to golf. Hobson explains you must “get mentally relaxed as a bad mood could really throw off your game.” If you’re not in the right mentality, you may perform poorly despite your practice.

Senior Connor Hobson, a consistent scoring leader on the team, holds his follow-through and watches the ball’s path..

            Knowing the course is also a vital part of performance. Pantaleo said, “I go through the course layout and envision each shot.”

            This season has helped many golfers improve their scores and how they play the game. Scarpa noted, “My scores have been getting lower as well, and I’ve become more consistent with my swings.”

            Roco similarly expressed his satisfaction with bis progress. “My chipping has improved along with my driver being a bit more consistent off the tee box.”

            For the underclassmen returning to the team next year, these improvements may go a long way toward making the team more successful in the future. While graduating seniors have built their skills in a game they can play for years to come.

Posted on 6/15/22

Photos by Lors Photography

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