I had heard rumors of an elusive golf team at Oberlin. Some called it
varsity golf. I decided the matter needed further investigation and set out to
find one of the eight athletes on this hypothetical team. Housemates and
teammates Shiv, Brian and Prithvi talked to me about the draconian NCAA golf
rules and the joys of playing golf in northern Ohio.
For how long have you each been playing golf?
BB: Shiv and I have been
on the team three years and Prithvi has been on the team four years. I started
golfing when I was 12.
SC: When I was nine or 10.
PR: I don’t
know, when I was 16?
SC: We call him Tiger Reddy.
Are you as good as Tiger?
BB: I think Tom [King] is the best.
Oberlin’s top golfer. You can quote me on that.
PR: We’re all pretty
good. A little better than weekend golfers.
Is golf a varsity sport?
Do you think a lot of people know about the Oberlin golf team?
PR: There are a lot of kids on this campus who would be able to play
competitively at Oberlin and they just don’t know about it.
SC: I think a
lot of the sports teams here are not known about.
BB: But golf especially. There
are probably people out there who are better than us.
Do you have the same practice schedule as the other varsity teams?
We play six days a week.
BB: We play tournaments on Saturdays and Sundays.
When it’s snowing and stuff we go to a heated range. We start late
February, early March.
PR: We’ve definitely played when there was snow on
the ground. Which is ridiculous.
BB: Our first tournament this year, when we teed
off, it was about 35 degrees, 30 mile per hour winds.
Has Oberlin hosted any tournaments?
BB: We hosted a tournament two
years ago at the Oberlin country club. We haven’t hosted anything this
year. The way it works is a school will host and have about 15 or 16 schools all
come to play in groups of three schools together.
Do snow mounds act as extra obstacles?
BB: Well, you don’t play
when there are mounds of snow.
SC: Your body needs to have a rhythm. It needs to
be heated up.Have you ever played when the water hazards were frozen?
We’ve definitely been able to pick up our ball because it’s lying
right there on the water.
Can you just walk onto the water and hit the ball from there?
Does the team do sprints or weightlifting?
BB: Well, for the month of
February it’s actually club golf. It doesn’t become varsity until
the sun comes out.
SC: We lift core and upper body in the fall but no sprints.
It’s more tiring than you think to play. You carry your bag for a seven
Are you allowed to use golf carts?
SC: No, you carry your own bag, find
your own ball...
Is the no-carts rule a coach Blake New rule?
BB: No, NCAA rule.
Why is that?
PR: Put you through pain. I don’t know.
When you practice do you use carts?
SC: No, we never use carts.
Okay, so no stupid golf cart stories?
BB: Well, I worked at a golf
course and one time we took the governor off to make it go faster to try and
jump it. We drove up a ramp and flipped it on its side.
But you’re not allowed to do that any more?
Have you thought about trying to recruit caddies on campus?
Absolutely. Absolutely. If somebody wants to caddy for me, I’m up for it.
But you can’t have caddies.
No caddies, either?
BB: Maybe at practice.
Which movie do you think is better, Caddyshack or Happy
BB: Happy Gilmore.
Gilmore. Have I seen Caddyshack?
There’s Tin Cup, also.
Do you ever watch golf movies on the bus to away tournaments to get the
SC: Do we even have a movie thing?
BB: I feel like there are no
inspirational golf movies.
SC: It’s not like football.
BB: There’s no
pump up music.
SC: You need to be calm. It’s all about rhythm.
Is there golf team humor on the van rides?
SC: Golf team humor? Of
What do you mean obviously?
SC: We’re not sitting there quietly.
When you’re playing golf, because it is seven hours long, you can’t
be intense all the time or you’ll zone out. You need to think about
something else and then when you need to focus, you focus. It’s very easy
to get pissed off and mess up. I do some yoga.
You do yoga?
SC: I have done yoga in the past. But all professional
golfers do yoga.
Is the rest of the team into yoga?
BB: I’ve never done yoga in my
What about that golf humor?
PR: We definitely had a kid, Craig
BB: He ate the entire 99 cent menu at Wendy’s.
PR: He bet that
he could eat the entire menu in five minutes.
BB: And he did. Baked potato,
SC: Frosty. It was impressive.
PR: I think he wanted to do it,
he just wanted someone to pay for it.
Who has the better golf game, Blake or someone on the team?
PR: I think
it’s probably Tom. Blake is like second-best.
BB: Tom is so much better
than anyone else on the team. It’s funny because the rest of us go out
there and play badly and he’ll go out there and shoot as well as anyone at
the tournaments. But because it’s a team score, we bring him down.
He’s the person you should write the interview about.
PR: Write about
Blake. Our coach is the men’s soccer coach and sits in the soccer office.
Does he have any golf stuff up in his office?
PR: He answers the
phone, “Blake New, men’s soccer coach.”
SC: Wait! Wait! Last
year we won our first tournament. We won it. We won a tournament.
Where’s the trophy?
BB: It’s somewhere.
What do you mean somewhere? This is your only trophy!
SC: We have a
couple somewhere. But the bet was that if we won a tournament he [Blake] would
change the title on his office door to “Blake New, men’s soccer
coach and men’s golf coach.”
BB: But golf was going to be first
because soccer hadn’t won a tournament. He never did it.
Doesn’t it say golf on his door now?
PR: In the small
BB: Golf was supposed to be first.
SC: But I think his voicemail has
PR: But he’s a great coach.
Do you ever just golf around campus if you can’t make it out to the
SC: Like hit the ball from here to Barrows?
PR: I feel like we
tried that and definitely broke something. We had a kid who tried to hit it from
Dascomb to Wilder Bowl. That was the last time.
SC: We putt and chip around the