With the hopes of returning this fall, the golf team’s season has been postponed by the Atlantic East conference until at least the spring semester of 2021.
After their season was cut short this previous spring, the team was looking forward and preparing to play this fall. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Atlantic East conference decided to move all fall sport competitions and championships to the spring semester.
The golf team is now looking for new ways to stay busy while tuning into their love for the sport. Golf courses have now reopened after being closed so now the players are finding ways to stay active and healthy.
When asked about her reaction, head coach Tana Thomas said that she was very sad and disappointed. “As a coach, you have to be the positive one. I have to believe that something good will come out of this,” coach Thomas said. Thomas explained how she had to tell her players over a Zoom call with an hour notice of what the conference had decided and the players were in disbelief and utter shock. “We’re doing what we have to do to get through this,” she said.
A huge takeaway she is getting from this is that she is seeing an interest from the players to return for a postgraduate degree while using their extra year or two of eligibility to play.
Gerald Haftmann, a junior business management major, had expressed his disappointment in the loss of a season. “I feel upset. I had practiced all summer, just to return to school without a season,” he said.
He further expressed his love for the game saying, “I love the field of competition and the butterflies I get in my stomach after the first tee shot.” He said that he golfs every day to stay on top of his skills. Going through this experience he said that it’s a positive that everyone is staying healthy.
Junior Jonathon Papp also expressed his reaction. “It was heartbreaking,” he said. “We have all been in touch with each other over the summer and we were all practicing a ton and playing really well,” he said. Papp recognizes that golf can be played socially distant but believes if no one plays, golf should not be an exception.
Now he believes that the team has more time to practice and perfect their own game. “Now we can work with our coach who is awesome at teaching the game and pick her brain more and more,” he said.
Victoria Monterosso, junior international business major, was disappointed when she heard the news of there not being a golf season. “It is definitely frustrating, but this time allows us to practice and really spend time on the little things we wouldn’t be able to focus on otherwise” she said.
The women’s and men’s teams now separate into their pods at practice and hit balls, play short game, and putt. Monterosso said now players mostly practice individually or with head coach Thomas.
Even though the team is not competing right now, coach Thomas is very excited to get the team back together for practices next week at their newly established home course at White Manor country club located in Malvern. To keep things exciting and competitive, Papp said, “Our coaches came up with a mini tournament where we all play each other over the course of the fall, and we get points for wins and there will be prizes at the end.”
Pending NCAA approval, the Atlantic East will conduct fall sports in the spring 2021 semester.