Golf club keeps an inclusive environment for members


Jackson VolenecReporter

To officially kick off their season, the Golf Club held an informational discussing all different aspects of the club to its members, old and new, on Feb. 26.

Between casual tournaments competing with other teams in Connecticut, weekly practice sessions and uniforms, the club adviser and lead members of the group had explained all crucial details to those who were interested. The team leaders emphasized that this club was a casual environment that was very inclusive, prioritizing comradery over competition.

“We’re all very close, that’s the great thing about this group,” said Jonathan Wharton, the adviser of the golf club and political science professor. “There used to be around 20 students when we started, now we’re down to eight.”

The golf club has been around for six years on campus, but it has shifted from a highly competitive environment into a more laid back approach. The club is attending three different tournaments being scheduled for this spring semester, where they will play against other Connecticut teams. They also go out on Friday afternoons for practice sessions.

“It’s a really good way to just relax throughout the semester,” said club vice president and finance major Drew Griffith, a junior. “It’s a nice way to unwind, especially during the school year.”

The club plays at multiple different venues throughout the semester, which allows for players to experience a variety of areas, especially if a team reaches the high levels of competition. Griffith explained that there past competitions have been held in places such as California and Georgia.

“We get out on nice weekends and just play courses you wouldn’t get to play often,” said Griffith.

Although it is a casual environment, that is not to say these tournaments are non-competitive. There are still awards and prizes handed out to the best teams, and some can potentially qualify to compete nationally. The competition is there to those who are interested in taking it to that level, but it is not a required part of the experience.

“We encourage the competitive play, but it’s really about improving your game and still having fun with it,” said Griffith.

Although it is a casual environment, that is not to say these tournaments are non-competitive. There are still awards and prizes handed out to the best teams, and some can potentially qualify to compete nationally. The competition is there to those who are interested in taking it to that level, but it is not a required part of the experience.

“We encourage the competitive play, but it’s really about improving your game and still having fun with it,” said Griffith.

Students in the golf club express their appreciation for the friendships they have made through being in the club, as it gives them a group on campus.

“I love the comraderie,” said club president and philosophy major Trent Kaisen, a junior. “I’m a commuter, I like that I have a group that I can see around campus and say, ‘What’s up?’ to, and I love that we can go and hang out off campus as well.”

One of the biggest aspects of the club was to remain as inclusive as possible to all students who are remotely interested in joining. Members of the group are not required to attend tournaments if they cannot. Wharton said that nothing should stop someone from joining if their interest is peaked.

In order to keep the club inclusive, the laid-back aspect of the group is crucial, according to Kaisen.

“I think any highly competitive environment is bound to turn some people away,” said Trent, “so being inclusive as possible has always been a major goal for the team.”

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