For the four upperclassmen on the men’s golf team, the desire to win more has been brewing for four years.
Alex Chalk, Gregor Tait, Andres Acevedo and Alex McAuley led the naming of the mental core values for this year’s squad to help them ac- complish team and personal goals.
Last semester, men’s golf had one of the highest GPAs among student athlete teams at 3.6. Their work ethic spoke to the first core value that they came up with, which was “Relentless in Everything You Do.”
“We tried to find ones that would stick with people,” Chalk said. “The other guys would try to make values and we kept three main ones. Golf is super mental, it’s just crazy because you have a million thoughts going through your head. When you’re out on the golf course and thinking of giving up, my mindset is to be relentless to keep grinding away for myself and for my teammates.”
Chalk mentioned that in the offseason head coach Clay White attended seminars and found out what makes a team click. Chalk said coaches al- ways have things that they should value such as being punctual, but players need to their own within the team. Between the four upperclass- men, they had to decide what their values were and how they would hold each other accountable.
As a personal goal, Chalk wanted to improve the imagi- nary 15th club in his bag.
Every golfer has 14 clubs in their bag. The 15th club is the mental aspect of the game, the extra tool needed to push a golfer’s game above the com- petition.
“I’ve been working on that for probably 15 years,” Chalk said. “A lot of us have our days and when you’re playing golf well, it’s so easy to turn up, just smack it wherever you want and there’s no worries in the world. On the bad days, that’s where I needed to improve when I’m having bad days, if not accept, just try and maintain one step at time instead of thinking how badly things are going. A big thing for me, one of the core values too, was staying in the present.”
For the seniors, Chalk and McAuley, they have not expe- rienced a team win since the spring of 2017.
Chalk also mentioned what it felt like to hoist a Big East trophy but spoke to bittersweet feeling of not coming in first.
“We sniffed it, but we haven’t finished off a tournament,” Chalk said. “The first tournament that Gregor [Tait] won his freshman year, we play a good last round but it’s just not your day West Virginia shot an unbelievable last round at the UNCG tournament. I’ve been excruciatingly close, like my freshman year, it was 900 shots later and we lost by one. Especially flying home with a second-place trophy that’s massive then everyone’s like oh congrats but that’s a second-place trophy.”
Added to that drive is the unique practices they must work their way around the outside conditions of the northeast. Tait loves the com- petitive edge of the group and recognizes the privilege of the facilities at Seton Hall that have helped them sharpen their game.
One of the most helpful tools for the team has been the simulation gaming system called E6. They can play 18 holes, try out different games like horse or the golf version of the game 21 on any course.
With the loss of two decorated seniors in Gen Nagai and Chris Yeom from last season, this year’s team had to find ways to competitive, get healthy and learn which golfers would fit in new roles.
“We’re a different team now and it’s taken us a little bit of time to find out where productivity needs to come from within the team,” Tait said. “With Chris and Gen on the team, who were so reliable, you knew what they were going to give you every single tournament over, over and over again. I think we have a pretty good system now of where we know what’s going to work for different people and now it’s putting it into plan.”
Evando Thompson can be reached at evando.thompson@ student.shu.edu. Find him on Twitter @evthmps.