“The last year-and-a-half, we all have had to deal with a large dose of adversity, interruption, cancellations, and isolation, so we feel fortunate as a team just to be together again,” said head coach Brian Jaworski. “There have been a lot of cold, rainy, windy, wet days on the golf course, but that hasn’t deterred our group one bit. If there is one positive thing about the pandemic, it has been the opportunity to completely start from scratch. I feel like the members of this men’s golf team have taken advantage of that new fresh start to change a lot of things about our practices, and off-the-course habits. These guys have done everything the coaching staff has asked of them, and in some cases more. Not only have the guys prepared hard for the shortened season, but we have also established new standards and more commitment to the golf team, which will benefit the squad this year and beyond.”
Leading the charge for Grinnell are Sam Naik ’21 and Simon Lane ’23. “They have been our best and most consistent players,” said Jaworski. “Sam is a rock, posting solid scores and working hard on his short game to bring those scores down. Simon is just so explosive off the tee, and he really doesn’t have too many weaknesses in his game. Both are two-sport athletes, and their ability to grind it out comes from playing multiple sports.”
“Our two first-year players who are on campus, Ian Strawn ’24 and Jake Heinrich ’24, and Lucas Roscoe, who is not on campus for S2, set the tone for our team by working their tails off during S1,” the coach continued. “Without their buy-in, we would have been the same ol’, same ol’ golf team, but we’re not. We’re improved and a lot of that can be traced back to their dedication to the golf workouts/training during S1. On the golf course, all three guys show great potential and we are looking forward to their continued growth on the course.
“James Lim ’22 has something special in that he doesn’t have to hit it great to post a good score,” Jaworski continued. “He doesn’t give in or ever feel sorry for himself when he gets a bad break. He is another player who is making adjustments and becoming a more dedicated teammate, which will help bring his scores down.
“Brody Barton ’23 is everything you want in a golfer,” the coach concluded. “He is strong, extremely dedicated, and a very, very good teammate. He is so much improved from a year ago, and that is because Brody invested in his own game and went down to Florida to work on his game with some excellent instructors. He looks good out on the course, and you can’t find a nicer kid to play with. It is my opinion that someday, Brody will be captain of a championship golf team here at Grinnell.”
All of that has Jaworski excited for the season. “Our team is hard-working,” he said. “The guys are accountable, and our team communication has been the best it has ever been. We are super excited to be playing again. We love our group and are proud of the improvements we have made. It has been awesome working so closely with Coach Rock(ne Decoster), Coach (John) Shawver and all the guys.”