What I’ve Learned–Tony Kallevig

 

I wonder if he recognizes himself?  The confident freshman ready to take this jump to college golf.

I wonder if he realizes how tough and unforgiving this game can be?

Does he have any idea the  work and time that will be necessary to be an all-conference caliber golfer….and then how challenging it can be to be an all-conference performer?

Sometimes I believe it’s good to not know how challenging all of this can be.  Sometimes you just have to give it a go.

The golfer is Tony Kallevig in the fall of 2014.

He’s a freshman.

Fast forward to fall 2017.

He’s now earned all-GPAC honors during his career.

He’s golfed 43 rounds in competition through his first three seasons and another 11 this fall–54 total.

He’s got his lowest scoring average of his career this year at 73.5 and he’s right in the thick of the GPAC Conference race after two rounds.  The next two rounds of the Conference Championship will be in April.

When I posed this assignment to him it was shortly after the GPAC dates were finished for the fall and I asked how it was.  He said something to the affect of “You can’t win it in the first two rounds, but you can lose it.  I’m still in it, so that’s a good spot.”

I asked him to reflect on the three-plus seasons of golf at Dordt and what he’s learned on the course.

Here’s what he had to say.

 

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Coming into college, I was unsure what college golf would be like compared to high school golf.

Some differences with the courses is that, on average, the greens are faster, the courses play longer, and the courses play all around harder. Another difference would be the added responsibilities in college.

In high school, I really didn’t spend that much time doing homework and it seemed like I had an ample amount of time to go play eighteen holes every day after class. Life was good and there weren’t a whole lot worries on my mind.

Even though I’m on a team, it’s mostly up to myself how much time and practice I want to put into my game, which meant I needed to get better at organization. In high school, I really didn’t spend that much time doing homework and it seemed like I had an ample amount of time to go play eighteen holes every day after class. Life was good and there weren’t a whole lot worries on my mind.

College was a different story, where relationships, homework, tests, jobs, and other student activities are all competing for my time. From this aspect, golfing isn’t ideal because of the amount classes I miss, but I found setting my priorities to be helpful when deciding how to use my time. I think it’s important to realize why you’re at college, which is, hopefully, to get a degree. I think it can be tempting to forget what the purpose of college is and focus too much time on other things. I have found that when I put school first and finish schoolwork as soon as possible, this makes my life a lot less stressful, on and off the course.

With all this being said, there were also some similarities between high school and college golf: it’s still golf. I think this can be the most frustrating sport because it’s inevitable that you’ll get into slumps it’s not always clear on how to get better.

Coming into college, I had the mindset that I would magically become a better golfer just because I was now a “college golfer.” Sadly, this misconception didn’t prove to be true.

Coming into college, I had the mindset that I would magically become a better golfer just because I was now a “college golfer.” Sadly, this misconception didn’t prove to be true.

There are still days, weeks, and maybe months where I have felt like I was in a rut and it’s hard to get out. Practice is good, but even that seems like it doesn’t help sometimes. Everyone who has played golf knows how humbling and frustrating golf is.

Overall, though, I think that playing college golf will make you a better golfer because the maturity and responsibilities that you learn from college, which will translate into maturity on the course.

 

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