The girls’ varsity golf team is 1-0, having defeated Peddie 191-208 in the season’s first contest. Next up for Big Red will be the Hill School Invitational (April 7, 2:00 p.m., Brookside Country Club, Pottstown, Pa.). Ivy Zhang ’19 recently sat down with Fifth Formers Carly Martinson and Caroline Colavita to learn more about them and the 2018 squad.
Ivy Zhang: When did you start playing golf and how did you get into it?
Caroline Colavita: As a kid, I played on a lot of local sports teams with my neighbors, but golf was something special between my dad and me. In the second grade, my dad signed me up for golf lessons, where I learned the basics of golf and golf etiquette. Since then, I’ve attended many Nike Golf Camps over the summer, and now work at the Nike Golf Camp located on Lawrenceville’s campus with [Girls’ Varsity Golf] Coach [Ron] Kane. However, I eventually drifted away from golf to focus on swimming and water polo, but Lawrenceville’s athletic requirement allowed me to circle back to golf.
Carly Martinson: My dad has been a huge golfer all his life. He actually played in college and was the captain of his college team, so when the time came, he wanted to get his family involved in the sport too. When I was little — I think I was four — he gave me a little set of golf clubs and signed my family up to be members of a golf club so we could go out every weekend as a family. He got us into the sport.
IZ: You’ve played golf for Lawrenceville for four years. How has the team grown or evolved since your first year?
CC: I’d have to say that the team dynamic has stayed constant throughout the years. The team has always been a small group of girls, so we’ve been able to bond and grow together. However, [this year] the varsity girls have a new coach [Ron Kane], so we have begun to adapt to his coaching. I’m excited to finish my golf career at Lawrenceville with Coach Kane because I used to attended his golf camps when I was younger.
CM: Over the years, the team has definitely gotten closer and become more of a close-knit group of girls rather than just a team. Rather than treating golf just as an individual sport, everyone works hard to win each match for the team. We’ve also gained a lot of new golfers who have strengthened the team as a whole.
IZ: What has motivated you to stick with golf throughout the years, and what is your favorite part of playing the sport?
CC: While golf is definitely a mental sport, it is also a social sport, which is one of the reasons I’ve stuck with it throughout Lawrenceville. The people I’ve met during matches and the friends I’ve made on the team are the most important thing to me about the sport. Personally, I think that when you play golf with someone, you get a sense of his or her character because you are able to see how he or she handles pressure, failure, and success. One of my best friends has been on the team with me since freshman year, and while I don’t necessarily think golf is the reason why we are friends, playing golf together is definitely why we’ve become so close over the years.
CM: I think golf is a calming sport. If you have the mindset that it’s okay not to play well on some holes, it’s actually really fun. There is not quick movement like in tennis and squash; besides hitting the ball occasionally, you’re just walking and playing with your team, and you can have conversations. It’s a relaxing season.
IZ: How has Lawrenceville shaped you as a golfer?
CC: Lawrenceville has shaped me to be a competitive golfer. Prior to Lawrenceville, I only played golf recreationally over the summer. The golf program at Lawrenceville has allowed me to see a more serious side of the game while having fun with my teammates and opponents. At every match, I make sure to enjoy competing against new rivals, but remain focused on playing to the best of my ability.
CM: I used to hate golf. My dad would try to bring me to the driving range, and I would not want to. I would rather stay home or play a different sport, but when I got to Lawrenceville, being on a team inspired me to actually go out and play more often, which has helped me enjoy golf more. Now, I enjoy going to the driving range, as well as home and away matches, with the team.
IZ: Do you have any superstitions or rituals that bring your good luck while playing golf?
CM: When the team plays matches, players are separated into groups of four, and I am partnered with Caroline on the team. If she goes first and hits a good drive, then I’ll hit a good drive after. If she hits a bad drive first, we switch the order of who goes first. We think the order really matters in determining our driving performance.
I am also very superstitious about what golf ball I use. Of course, it’s fine if I lose the ball, but I need to play with the same golf ball throughout the entire nine holes because if I change it, I feel like I don’t play as well as I was playing before. If I’m playing badly, I will change my golf ball because I think my poor performance has something to do with the golf ball.
CC: My biggest superstition is my golf glove. I’ve worn the same one in every match I’ve played in since making varsity my sophomore year. Although it’s pretty worn out now, I plan on wearing it for the rest of the season.
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