The sport of patience

Kathleen Shaffer, Staff Writer

Down by four shots and nine holes to go, the only way to win was playing under par. The last hole left junior Chad Ahn tied, but when his component shot a bogey he was able to win by one shot at a Firewheel golf tournament last summer. This was one of the 32 golf tournaments Ahn played over the summer. Playing golf runs in junior Ahn’s family, his father got him involved in golf when he was 3 years old and Ahn hasn’t stopped playing since.

“I’ve played ever since I can remember,” Ahn said. “It used to be recreationally, but over the past few years it has become competitive.”

Ahn tried out for the Plano golf team his freshman year. During the try outs boys and girl in grades 9th through 12th play 18 holes over two days and are observed while using various clubs. Once on the team the students practice every day starting at 2:30 p.m.

“Golf takes up a lot of my time,” Ahn said. “I have to be dedicated, I practice basically every day and I play all year round, even during the summer.”

To be on the team the students are required to take lessons and participate in tournaments, but there is a variation in how some of the players approach golf.

“Everyone on the team enjoys the sport, but I want to continue with golf and get a scholarship,” Ahn said. “There are a few players on the team that want to continue playing in the future, which requires more dedication.”

Like Ahn, Junior Shannon Grinnell hopes to continue with golf after high school, but unlike Ahn she started playing golf her freshman year. Grinnell’s older sister played golf but Grinnell played softball instead, but Grinnell’s father her encouraged her to play golf so she could get a scholarship like her sister.

“I was able to get a good enough score to make it even though I had never really played,” Grinnell. “I had to focus and be patient. I think it helped that I used to play softball; it helped me keep my eye on the ball and do well. I hope I can get a scholarship, but I know there are a lot of good players out there, the competition is tough. ”

Despite different amounts of experience all the golfers work to get their score as low as possible and to do well.

“With lessons and practice I’ve gotten so much better, and I know I can keep improving” Grinnell said. “I remember playing my first 18 holes with my dad. I wanted to quit so bad, but I kept going. After a while I really started like being there and looking forward to golfing. I kept trying and now I can make a good score in the 80s or 90s.It’s between you and the course, no one else, and I really like that because the only person I can get mad at is myself and if I do well then I know it’s because of my hard work. I know that it’s help teach me determination.”

Like Grinnell, Ahn said that his life has been impacted by golf in other ways than just the actual game.and would not be the same without golf.

“I don’t know what my life would be like without golf,” Ahn said. “I have a ton of friends that I play against, and I’ve made many of my best friends play golf. The tough competition and being pushed brought me to a new level and with patience I know I can continue getting better.”