On Oct. 18, the GDS golf team teed off at 10 a.m. at the Falls Road Golf Course for their biggest match of the season, the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference championship. The Hoppers played 18 holes against 36 golfers from their six conference rivals to cap off their season.
The team finished fourth among the seven schools in the league, with Potomac winning the tournament. Head coach Taylor Brown selected his ten-member team’s six best golfers—Quint, sophomores Zach Yuffee and Omar Sheikh, junior Lauren Petrilla, freshman Koen Yu and senior Trey Nordberg—to compete.
Nordberg, who has been on the team since his sophomore year, was satisfied with the team’s performance. “We were never really going to beat Potomac—they were the best team in the league by a long shot—but we did about as well as could be expected,” Nordberg said.
According to Nordberg, Quint was the team’s best and most experienced golfer throughout the regular season and led its championship effort with his impressive play.
Brown was also pleased with Quint’s golfing. “Jordan Quint finished in the top ten and was all-conference for golf, shooting a 76, which is a really good score, in general but for a sophomore in particular,” Brown said. Most golf courses have a par of 70 to 72 strokes.
Six golfers compete in each match, playing nine holes during the regular season and 18 in the championship match. The four lowest scorers count towards the team’s total.
Quint said it was “a little bit intimidating” to compete against the league’s most experienced opponents at once. “But I thought I played within my means and played pretty well.”
Although Quint’s sixth-place finish may have been the highlight, Nordberg said that each member of the team contributed to the result. “No one on the team played below their average on the season, so everyone pulled their weight very well,” Nordberg said.
Brown told the Bit he was excited about the team’s improvement after having finished sixth in the MAC in 2019. This year, GDS was just strokes away from third place.
“We have a lot of potential to do really well in the next two or three years as well,” Brown said. Three of the team’s top golfers are sophomores, and only one of its top six players is a senior.
Quint said he knew the team would be counting on his experience this fall. “I knew I was gonna be one of the leaders of the golf team coming into this year, and I think I tried my best to really lift up the team both with my play and with my leadership,” Quint explained.
Even Nordberg felt the impacts of Quint’s leadership. “Jordan actually taught me a new putting technique called the claw grip and it really helped, so that is definitely my strongest improvement,” Nordberg said.
Brown also praised his players’ dedication to preparing on their own, keeping up their skills in the spring and summer. Brown said that the recent addition of a golf simulator—which tells players the estimated distance and velocity of balls hit into its net—to the turf-floored wrestling room has allowed his golfers to practice their strokes on campus.
The team did not have a consistent practice location, but rather traveled to a variety of local courses to practice and compete.
As Brown looks to the future, he hopes the team will galvanize more support from the GDS community. “We do have really good golfers and we’d like to sometimes get them the same attention we get for other sports that are more centrally located on campus,” he said.
Quint believes that more support will come as the team continues to improve. “People ask about how the team is doing,” Quint said. “They ask me about our record. So I think that it’s getting attention right now and as we get better, attention will come with it.”