The men’s and women’s golf teams at California Baptist University are going through two very different experiences on the journey to postseason.
The women’s team has had multiple successes this year and played well in a handful of tournaments.
However, the men’s team has faced trials throughout the season and did not place first in a tournament until March 19-20 in the Lancers Joust.
TL Brown, head coach of the men’s golf team, said he felt positive going into the Lancer Joust Tournament and said he felt the lineup was strong, which proved to be true.
“There is so much pride in winning your home tournament, and the camaraderie among all of the players and our coach was awesome,” said Ben Hallam, junior business entrepreneurship major and golfer. “It really brought us together as a team.”
Brown said individual players have golfed well during tournament, but that he wanted to see the team golf as a unit.
“Instead of having two guys show up each event, we need all five,” Brown said. “They don’t need to play like superstars or PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) tour players, but they just need to play like they are capable and trust their preparation and themselves more.”
Marc Machado, head coach of the women’s golf team, said he is pleasantly surprised with how his team is progressing.
“We had a slow start and pretty much a brand new team since we lost three senior starters that played in every tournament last year,” Machado said. “The returning women have done a great job.”
Three goals the women’s golf team has this year are to win three tournaments, win the PacWest Conference and get to nationals for the first time. So far, they have the first goal checked off the list.
Machado said his team has a chance of winning nationals if they continue the same preparation and work on their mindset.
“To win nationals, it’s going to come down to doing the same prep but believing in themselves and believing in each other,” Machado said.
Brown said golf is a mentally challenging game and unlike any other sport.
“In other sports, you can just run faster or be more physical and burn off that steam, but in golf, you just sit there and ponder it. It’s a five-hour day and then you do it all over again the next day.”
Although the uncertainty of the postseason can be daunting to think about, Brown said his trust in God helped him to maintain a positive attitude as a coach.
“There’s a plan for us,” Brown said. “We’re not steering the car, God is. As long as they’re in control of their effort and their attitude, that is really all they can do.”
On the women’s team, Erica Wang, junior business administration major and team captain, said she felt like she has guided her team through leading by example instead of leading by telling.
“It is important to show the women how we should conduct ourselves on and off of the golf course,” Wang said. “I also act as a leader by taking care of them and being in communication with them.”
Hallam echoed her statement when talking about how he has led his team.
“It is very important for the freshmen to be able to look up to somebody from within the team,” Hallam said. “This year I have tried to be a leader through my behavior and by how I handle myself through my golf as well as in the classroom.”
Wang said her favorite memory of the season so far is their victory at California State University — East Bay’s golf tournament.
“All the women gave everything we had and did not give up, and we ended up winning by three shots,” Wang said. “It felt amazing to know that all four of those women had my back and supported me no matter what.”
Both Brown and Machado said their teams are taking it day by day.
“We’re an individual sport acting as a team sport so we need to put the team’s best interest at heart and sometimes that means pushing your self-interest aside,” Machado said.
Brown and Machado said they are are excited for what their teams have in store.
“We have the best yet to come,” Brown said. “I’m hoping for a big finale.”