First-year golfer rips up course

Matt Tesmond

This week’s sports profile centers on up-and-coming golf star Scott Martin. Martin, a first-year from Escondido, CA, was integral in the men’s second place finish at the NWC Spring Classic two weeks ago. Martin came in second overall, posting a two round score of 146(+2), a mere three strokes off of the winning score of 143(-1). Scott sat down with the Pio to talk about his start, the challenges of playing golf and competition between teammates.

Credit: Nico Farrell

Pio: How did you get into golf?

Scott Martin: I got into it thanks to my dad. He played tennis in college but had played golf his whole life. When I was little, he’d take me out to the range to hit some balls and it just stuck. I really liked it.

P: I bet he had some good wisdom to impart.

SM: Yeah, he actually helped me a lot with the mental side of the game. Especially things like having a short memory on the course.

P: Yeah the mental aspect is quite fascinating, especially since golf is certainly a game when a few degrees can put you in the rough. How do you deal with that side of the game?

SM: It’s basically five or six hours straight of having to stay focused. You can’t get caught up on one bad shot-you have to let it go.  Between shots, I normally don’t think about the shot too much. Obviously you measure it up and stuff, but after that, I find the club and go hit the shot. One other thing that really helps me is for five seconds I’ll let all the emotion in, and after those five seconds, I just let it go.

Pio: Well, besides the mental aspect, what’s the hardest part of golf?

SM: When I’m on the course and I have to be out there for six hours with an unpleasant person (Laughs). Off the course, it’s really hard to find time to get out and practice.

Pio: So what is the best thing about playing golf at Whitman?

SM: Definitely the guys on the team. I’ve played countless individual tournaments, but playing with the team is really fun. The team’s small size is good because it keeps everyone close.

Pio: Since golf is one of those individual-sports-turned-team, is there ever bad blood from inner-team competition?

SM: When we are qualifying we do compete, but it’s not a negative aspect because everyone is a good sport. Golf is nice because you can judge based purely on scores. You can’t just play because you are the coaches favorite. But at the same time, I really wish everyone could play.

Pio: Well thanks Scott. Good luck with the rest of your season!

SM: Thanks, I’m excited to see what happens.