Laurier hits the links

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If the boys at Laurier just aren’t getting the job done in the looks department for the women of Laurier, the females may just want to take a trip to their local fairway.

Finding a cohesive team strength and identity in an individualized sport isn’t always easy but Laurier golf coach Jim Zwolak doesn’t have much trouble finding one.

“We’re known for being a good-looking team,” said Zwolak on Sunday at the Grey Silo Golf Club in Waterloo for part two of the Waterloo shared event between the University of Waterloo (at Whistle Bear) and Wilfrid Laurier.

“It’s hard to pinpoint one team strength in golf. It’s not like hockey where a team can be the fastest team or anything like that. Each player has their own skill-set that helps the team,” said team veteran Brett Murray.

For Murray, he cites his short game (putting and chipping) to be his aces in the hole, and for the newer guys, it’s tended to be the long shot.

“Our rookies might be known for having a nice and straight drive,” said Zwolak.

The coach also makes sure the team keeps a good head on their shoulders.

“He’s a really good guy,” said Murray of coach Zwolak. “He teaches us the mental aspects of the game which most coaches don’t do a lot ….He’s a nice guy to be around. He treats us with a lot of respect and always lets us know what he expects out of us.”

The team need a tough mental fortitude. It’s a rushed schedule and there’s not a lot of time to appropriate to textbooks.

“The last couple of years, we’ve started training camp at the end of August … during orientation week, there are a couple days of tryouts, and then it’s off to the races for the next six weeks,” said the coach.

“A lot of the first years [on the team] are in business so I just kind of talk to them and help them along the way and tell them what the marks are like and that kind of stuff,” said Murray.

The faculty of business is well-represented. Five of the 11 team members major in the subject.

During a typical week for a Laurier links pro, a couple outings are made to the local golf courses at Grey Silo, Deer Ridge and Westmount for practice.

“We miss a lot of class, so it can be really challenging. The biggest thing is time management,” said Zwolak.

The team attends five Ontario University Athletics tournaments within the span of a month before heading off to provincials.

Last year, Laurier finished in 13th at the national championships in June. Team captain Matt Farronato and Murray led the way.

“[Matt’s] been a huge asset,” said the golf guru Zwolak. “He’s been a great leader, he cares about the team, and he’s taken charge of that role. It makes my life a lot easier. We’re going to miss him next year.”

The team is graduating Farronato, Murray and Brown this year — three core members of the squad who have a long history with the club.

They now travel to Copetown next Thursday for the final open of the season hosted by McMaster.


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