Girls golf team finds community on the green

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Samantha Johnstone

The team waits for their match to begin on March 17 at Crystal Springs Golf Course. (pictured from left to right: Coach Dito, Jessie Kotmel, Melanie Gordon, Ellie Dowd, Julia Hawkins).

Samantha Johnstone, Webmaster

Juniors Jessie Kotmel and Julia Hawkins, stuck in the lull of online school, decided to shake up their daily routine by joining the girls golf team. Neither had played golf before, but they wanted to try something new to fill their free time. Well into the season, Kotmel and Hawkins are quickly learning the ropes.

“Basically you just keep track of how many swings you swung to get into the hole. You play nine holes and then you add up your swings per every hole … and whoever has a lower score wins,” Kotmel said. 

The team had high hopes to win at their recent match on March 17 against San Mateo High School. Unfortunately, they were disqualified because they only had four players show up, which was not enough for them to compete. Despite their ineligibility to win, the team still played and had a fun game. 

“[My favorite part about golf isn’t winning,] it’s the community it has,” Kotmel said. “It’s just a lot of really nice people.”

While Kotmel and Hawkins may be newbies, senior Melanie Gordon and freshman Ellie Dowd both have several years of golfing experience under their belts. 

This season marks Gordon’s fourth year on the golf team, and she is now the unofficial captain of the team. Unlike many other sports, Gordon’s senior season is very similar to what it looks like in non-pandemic times. 

Modifications such as mandatory masks and not sharing equipment are enforced, but other than that, the structure is essentially the same.

“It’s really easy to social distance [because golf is primarily an individual sport],” Gordon said.

Gordon’s favorite part about golf is meeting new people, and this has stayed the same despite COVID-19, as she was able to form friendships with Kotmel, Hawkins, and Dowd — all of whom are playing their first season of Burlingame golf. 

Gordon encourages students to try out for the team next year because it offers a unique, community-minded atmosphere.