Sports  McGill Golf’s under-the-radar season

A season in review, and why you don’t see much about McGill’s golf team

It may be surprising to find out that McGill has a Redmen and Martlets golf team. We rarely hear advertisements about their upcoming tournaments, nor do we get updates on how they did. The McGill golf team has good results, particularly the Redmen, and thus it is surprising that they get very little attention.

The Martlet golf team finished third in their first tournament of the season, and stayed steady throughout the year to finish third out of the four teams at Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ)  Championships – even when one of their athletes, Meghan Chen, was unable to play due to the flu. Emily Phoenix stepped up at the Championships to have the lowest score of her teammates, ending up twelth overall for the season. Throughout the year, Dayvi Khanna consistently lowered her scores and ended up seventh, while Jenn Newton finished fifteenth.

The team is young – three out of their four team members are still competing their first year. Their season was consistent, and it can be expected that they will become a viable threat to any team as they gain more experience.

The Redmen golf team accomplished a lot in their season; a team twice the size of the Martlets, with only two freshmen, they finished eighth out of 12 teams in their tournament in Rimouski, and kept improving through the season. They finished sixth in their second tournament and placed third at the RSEQ Championships. It is unfortunate that their season wasn’t longer. With the trend their season was following, it was very possible they could have been the top team in the conference with the winning of one or two more competitions.

Ryan Boyd had a great start to the season, finishing eighth in the first competition, and ending up in fifteenth place overall, after finishing five strokes behind teammate Benoit Miquel in the Championships. Miquel continued his great performance from the second tournament, at the RSEQ Championships, to finish with the team’s lowest score – and placed thirteenth overall for the season. Tom Calvet had a solid year, finishing in seventeenth place overall. Brian Neill finished twenty eighth, and freshman Michael Reaume finished thirtieth.

Why, then, don’t we hear much about the accomplishments of the McGill golf team? This time it’s not about gender – women’s teams at McGill typically receive much less attention from students, for a number of reasons – because both golf teams are equally ignored. This is more an issue of accessibility to the competitions, quantity of the competitions, and length of season.

The men’s golf team competed in three tournaments and the women’s golf team only competed in two. The men’s first tournament happened in August before school starts, another happened in September, and the last one barely went past the first week of October. At this time students were figuring out courses, settling into the rhythm of a new year, or  had just arrived to Montreal. All these reasons do not favour the McGill golf teams; students  are definitely not focused on supporting during that time.

Adding to the issue, these tournaments happen nowhere near McGill. One is in Trois-Rivières and one is in Rimouski. The only tournament that is relatively close is in St. Hubert, but is still a trek. Only students dedicated enough would plan trips to watch these competitions. The only possible solutions are having your own car or hitching a ride with the team –and while the team might appreciate it, it may be awkward to travel with them.

Another problem with golf – similarly to swimming, synchronized swimming, and track and field events – is that the athletes, who are being watched by specific fans, are in action for a minute or two at most; the competition lasts the whole day. A fan would want to support their friends for the half hour that they’re in the spotlight, but it’s not realistic to spend nine more hours around the course when it’s the other athletes’ turns.

Despite these issues, there exists a definite lack of acknowledgement for the success of the McGill golf team. Campus ought to congratulate the McGill golf teams for their solid year and expect great things next season. Their rapid improvement makes them a team to watch in upcoming years.