Packer Golf Tees Off: Packer’s Golf Team Starts Practices in its Inaugural Season
On Monday, Feb. 27, a group of six students and two adults left school to go to the first ever golf practice in its 172 year history. This has been a long time coming.
When asked about the interest level over his years at Packer, Darrin Fallick, Director Of Athletics, explained, “I don’t think we have more interest then we would have six years ago and I don’t think we have less. I think we will always have four to eight kids interested in golf.”
This begs the question, what changed over the last year that made the golf team possible. As Mr. Fallick explained, it was all about practise area, “I didn’t think that going to outdoor driving ranges in February and March, when the weather was cold and rainy and snowy was a great idea.” However that all changed this year when an indoor practice area “was provided to me (Mr. Fallick) by an anonymous individual. Who has a studio in their office that we can use, so the weather doesn’t really matter.”
This space includes, as explained by Ethan Ng (‘18), “Trackman, which is a machine that analyzes your swing and simulates real life and analyzes your swing path, ball speed…” and many other statistics important in improving anyone’s golf game. Another aspect of the system is that the team can simulate real play on many of the most famous golf courses in the world.
This new program attracted many different types of golfers of all skill levels and golf histories. Some, like Ethan, have been playing their entire lives and compete in tournaments outside of packer: “my dad went out with his friends to play golf and I didn’t like staying home so he used to take me out with him and just leave me on the range. And now we go out and play tournaments every week and travel the country and develop a real love for the game and to improve.” While others, like Katie Lobel (‘18), who see this program as a way to get back into the game after a hiatus from the sport: “I used to play golf a lot when I was younger… I really like golf and this is an exciting opportunity for me to improve my game.”
As the team looks forward into its first year, expectations are tempered, many looking to just improve their game and have fun. As Katie explained, “it should be fun, there are a lot of good people.”
Mr. Fallick had very similar aspirations when it came to the inaugural season: “my hopes are… that the kids enjoy themselves and the kids get better as the season moves on” however, as with any packer sport, getting wins is always in the back of everyone’s mind, as Mr. Fallick hopes “to win a couple of matches, and depending on how skilled our golfers are maybe even enter one or two in the NYSIS state championship at the end of the year.”
Looking to the future beyond this year, Mr. Fallick wants to have separate boys and girls varsity teams instead of the “boys team with girls on it” system that the program is forced into with the small numbers the team has. Ethan hopes that “it will evolve into a team that is taken very seriously and is well accomplished in the future.” However, he is realistic about the limits of this type of team: “ Considering city golf compared to a lot of suburban golf teams it’s a lot more challenging to practice”