Annual Lynbrook boys and girls golf face-off tradition resumes

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Photo by Anton Ouyang

The boys and girls golf teams stand together showing their team spirit. (Photo by Anton Ouyang)

Anirudh Seshadri

The Lynbrook girls and boys golf teams played among themselves in a friendly competition on Sept. 25 at Los Lagos Golf Course. Unlike previous years, when the boys and girls teams competed against each other, they collaborated in mixed teams for the competition. Inter-team scrimmages like these help prepare golfers for future competitions by honing their skills, building confidence and bonding with their teammates.

Throughout the summer in 2021, the girls team practiced individually and with other schools. They also took lessons from professional golfers, such as Berne Finch, at San Jose Municipal Golf Course.

“He was the coach that I started with from the very beginning,” said Jibin Lee, junior and team captain of one of the mixed teams. “I basically learned everything from him, from short shots to full swings. Right now, we’re going more into trick shots that you hit when you’re in weird situations like being right behind a tree or right up at a fence.”

In fall 2021, the girls team had their first scrimmage against Wilcox High School on Sept. 2.

“The scrimmage against Wilcox was really fun because Wilcox was part of the lower leagues, and the game was not too competitive and very casual,” Lee said. 

On the other hand, the boys team competed in tournaments during summer 2021 to prepare for the Central Coast Section competitions. The CCS is a large athletic organization for high schools in the San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties that organizes athletic leagues and competitions for more than 770,000 high school students.

“Most players have been practicing by themselves,” senior Anton Ouyang said. “But a couple of players may be starting to play more tournaments this year compared to past years. Tournament experience is really valuable because it is completely different from playing regular weekend golf matches with your friends.”

In past years, the boys and girls golf teams only played matches against each other, with the girls team always emerging victorious. Teachers, such as retired math teacher Patrick Ellington, also had opportunities to play, making the competitions more entertaining and enjoyable. While this competition was different from previous years, both teams bonded over their desire to practice using techniques they learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for competitions later in the year. 

Initially, both teams had planned for a traditional boys versus girls golf tournament; however, after deciding the players for the game, both teams realized that there were more boys than girls. To make the match fair, they created mixed teams.

“Last season, we got a taste of victory by going undefeated against the lower divisions, and then going on to CCS,” junior Nishad Wajge said. “So hopefully, we can build off on that this year and do well at the game.”

Similar to past golf tournaments, the mixed match had 18-holes. The game consisted of two teams of eight people; taking players from both teams, four groups of four people were then formed. Each group played at a different tee time, the starting time of their round.

“I was very pumped up because my friend Jibin and I were team captains,” said Molly Runyon, senior girls golf team captain and captain of one of the mixed teams. “Although we still rooted for each other, it was different because we were also trying to beat each other.”

Before the game started, the players felt nervous but eager to interact with each other, as the boys and girls had not engaged in much collaboration or playing time together in the past. 

Despite any nervousness, the players had a thrilling game. Runyon’s team barely won with a score of 534-557 against Lee’s team. Players enjoyed meeting and playing with new sets of golf opponents. However, at certain times, some players did experience issues with putting, the action of swinging a golf ball gently with a club when only one or two strokes are needed to tap the ball in the hole.

“We started at around 3 p.m. and finished around 7:30 p.m., and it was pitch black,” Runyon said. “When we were putting, we had to shine our phone flashlights at the ball to see where it was.”

Both teams enjoyed the tournament and look forward to learning from each other and building a sense of community.