The match within the match Men’s golf teammates give a glimpse into the game

Senior Cullen Zurcher winding up to hit the ball at their  tournament in Wilbraham Mass. on Sept. 19. The team placed third in the tournament and qualified for the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championships.     

Andrew Hart, Herald Reporter

“It’s all mental,” is a common expression today, whether it’s used during competition or between friends joking around with each other. However, when it comes to golf, it seems most of the game is won when it comes to the mental aspect rather than the physical, according to senior men’s golf teammates Ryan Burrill and Cullen Zurcher. 


“It’s 85% mental. Golf would be a lot easier game if you couldn’t overthink it,” Zurcher said. 


“If you have confidence, you can play well,” Burrill said. “The biggest way to avoid this loss of confidence is to forget the mistakes that you have made and play the match shot by shot. Sure, it sounds easy, but even players who have been in these situations before can have trouble.”


“That’s the biggest difference between underclassmen and upperclassmen. Underclassmen need to learn to think. You see them do better as they play, they start to think,” Burrill added. 


The other 15% of golf is focused on the physical aspect, following a strict routine both within the season and during off season. During the winter months, the golf team focuses on the weight room, keying in on the core and lower body while limiting training of the upper body. During the fall and spring season, the regiment shifts to a more pliability-based emphasis, structured around getting on the course as much as possible. 


This training routine comes from a set of teammates who have a long and interesting history with the game. Zurcher, who started playing golf at the age of five, started taking the game seriously when he entered junior high. Not recruited to play at RWU, he tried out and made the team. 


On the other hand, Burrill started playing around the age of four, but he never really took the game seriously. Originally playing on the men’s soccer team at RWU, injuries forced him to take a different route and he joined the golf team during his sophomore year. 
On top of the fact that both have been playing golf since they were young, both players Connecticut natives, where they grew up within a half hour drive of TPC River Highlands — this is the host course for the PGA tournament, known as the Travelers Championship. 


Zurcher has been a spectator at the event for as long as he could remember. 


“It motivates you to be better. It used to get me fired up,” Zurcher said. 


Burrill explained how watching professional golf in person is a different atmosphere. 
“It’s different than what you see on TV. It helps anyone’s game in the process,” Burrill said.
The Hawks will finish up their fall season on Oct. 19 with the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association tournament at the Captains Golf Course in Brewster, Massachusetts. The team will pick up again as they compete in the CCC tournament, which they qualified for earlier in the fall season.