Brandon Matthews is upset.
As the leader of the golf team, he said he has noticed a lack of effort on his squad, and is bothered by the lack of consistency among his team members.
“The only thing I am disappointed with is a little bit of lack of effort on certain team member’s parts,” Matthews said. “Kids need to give more of an effort. You need to care a little more.”
“A couple of kids on the team didn’t [care] and we need to change that around,” he added.
From the season’s outset, the team set a goal to win multiple tournaments. With one tournament left, which finishes up on Nov. 4, the team has taken one tournament title – the Temple Invitational on Oct. 11-12. In the other four tournaments, the team was plagued by sporadic play. In Matthews’ eyes, the inconsistency can be fixed.
In last year’s fall season, the team had an average finish of fourth place. For this fall semester, the average finish has been in the sixth spot.
“We definitely didn’t play great,” senior Pat Ross said. “We expected to win three times this year … I don’t think that we planned it to go like this.”
For many golfers, the end of the season is a welcomed sight, viewing it as an opportunity to get away from the game.
“That [is] a big thing for me. … I felt a little burned out,” Ross said. “I’m excited for the offseason. I’ll take some time to recharge my batteries.”
Following the fall season’s conclusion, the team will have played in six tournaments spanning from Connecticut to South Carolina. The travel days, combined with the constant practice and 15 rounds of golf during the fall semester, caused an eventual buildup, Matthews said.
“You do need to step away from the game a little bit and that is the nice thing about playing golf in the Northeast,” Matthews said. “You have to step away from it and sometimes it is a good thing.”
As a school in the Northeast, Temple is forced to take a break from competitive golf. The weather does not permit them to play year-round, which Matthews said can be a blessing in disguise.
“Golf wears on the mind,” Matthews said. “To give that time off is pretty big.”
For senior Matt Teesdale, the break will be a time in which he’ll be able to correct shortcomings that have hampered his play this fall. Teesdale, who has been plagued with inconsistent play, said he knows he needs to do better in his final year at Temple.
“Golf is a humbling sport and if you don’t put 110 percent in it, it is definitely going to show,” Teesdale said. “I don’t think I was practicing the right way to maximize my potential.”
Teesdale said he wasn’t focusing on the finer aspects of his game. Instead of going to practice and working on fundamentals, Teesdale said he would play 18 holes, instead. Last fall season, Teesdale had four Top 16 finishes. This season, he has one.
“I want to start practicing with a purpose,” Teesdale said. “I want to practice the correct way. … I want to max out.”
Despite all the struggles, the team believes it will be ready to right their wrongs for the spring season.
“We are all competitors and we got this far and if we didn’t feel that way there would be a big problem,” Ross said. “There is no reason for us not to be confident. We know what we can do.”
Matthews is ready to enjoy the upcoming time off so he can “be a kid for a little bit.” But when the spring comes, he said he will be prepared to continue his strong play from the fall semester.
“Stepping away from golf for a month or two, you get that itch back and you want to practice harder,” Matthews said. “Every spring I fall in love with that game again.”
Michael Guise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @MikeG2511