6 January 2022
When most people think of golf they think, “retired white people passing time” or literally nothing. So it may come as a surprise that Atholton Raiders have a golf team during the fall season and that the team is pretty darn good.
Atholton’s golf team had an amazing season with golf player Ivan Cho stating, “The season has been fun! A bunch of golf with teammates would most likely lead to a good time.”
However, a team that’s been here for a while hasn’t really ever been known among the students of Athoton. When juniors at Atholton were asked what their opinions on golf were, they stated, “I really don’t know that much about golf.” Another went on to say, “Seems stupid.”
Despite the hate that golf receives, Athlton’s view on golf is a divided opinion. Student Sarah Nyako stated, “Golf is actually really popular in Europe and North America. If there were a girls team I would join.”
Nation wide, golf is among the top ten sports. A survey was conducted by the AAAStateOfPlay, a trusted supplier of durable commercial playground equipment for schools, parks, day-care facilities, and churches across the United States, and ranked what the most popular sport in each state in the US was from 2018-19.
1. Football: 1,006,013 participants (most popular sport in 43 states)
2. Track and Field, Outdoor: 605,354 (most popular sport in three states)
3. Basketball: 540,769 (most popular sport in two states)
4. Baseball: 482,740
5. Soccer: 459,077 (most popular sport in two states)
6. Cross Country: 269,295
7. Wrestling: 247,441
8. Tennis: 159 314
9. Golf: 143,200
10. Swimming and Diving: 136,638
An average highschool student wouldn’t even expect golf to be on the list, but it is. “I don’t think golf would be that popular personally ‘cause I don’t know anyone who plays,” stated an anonymous freshman. Even though students don’t give as much publicity to the sport, the public sure does. Coach Dingman, who is in charge of Atholton’s golf team, stated, “As I am not currently teaching in the school, I’m not sure how much “publicity” those teams had last year, but I am sure they were well-deserved. That being said, we did have our scores covered by the Baltimore Sun and it would be great if we had a recap of our matches shared at school over the announcements or something (if they were not already doing that).”
Most people connect golf with a lot of stereotypical connotations. Charisma Pecot, a junior at Atholton said, “Golf just seems really preppy and for rich white people and it seems like everything on TV shows.”
Many might not know how much practice gets put into the golf tournaments. “Students will begin by showing their golfing ability (distance control, accuracy, and consistency) by hitting golf balls on the driving range, chipping areas, and putting greens,” said Coach Dingman. “Students will then play one or two nine-hole rounds on the golf course where they will show their strategy and how they score from hole to hole.” It takes a lot of practice to reach the standard they have.
Some people actually attend golf matches, which was a reality check for an anonymous sophomore in Atholton who said, “Literally no one goes to those things.” Golf player Ivan Cho explained,“Spectators mostly included family and friends.”
The stigma that golf has with the community of Athlton is a very stereotypical and unhealthy one. In the future showing love and support to the golf team and other “underrated” sports can be beneficial to not only the players, but for the spectators as well. You never know, one day you just might find yourself watching–or even playing–golf.