Player diary: Davidson's Todd Eckstein (Part 4)
Who doesn’t like to end a season on a high note? Wouldn’t anyone like to shoot a career or season low during their final tournament? Any coach would take three of his players finishing in the top five individually and a second place finish as a team, right?
Our team did all of this in our final tournament of the fall, the Donald Ross Intercollegiate at Mimosa Hills Golf Club. Every player on our team either tied or bettered their career low score over the course of the tournament, an incredible feat that required perseverance to achieve. Having identified a need to play more consistently on 36-hole days, our team posted a school-record 9-under 271 in the second round to set ourselves up for a chance at a win. We finished second at 14-under 826 for 54 holes, two shots behind a Wofford team that played a great 54 holes of golf. I finished with a career-best 7-under 203 for third individually, and our seniors Richard Fountain and Sam Echikson tied for fifth at 3 under.
But ending on a high note implies an abrupt halt. A rhythm is killed, a beat no longer thumps, silence prevails. We’ve put our instruments down for the time being, and have started to write our next hit.
ʻOk, the music analogy went a little far, but you get the picture. With our next tournament three and a half months away (109 days, not that I’m counting...), our preparation is much different than if we were leaving in less than a week. With more focus on our workouts, which include two or three days of lifting and two days of yoga, we’re looking to get our bodies in proper shape to play even better in the spring. Some of us have visited our counseling center, either to talk to a nutritionist or psychologist, to aid in that physical and mental preparation for the spring. And while we look to catch up with friends we didn’t see much during the season, our team still gets together frequently to eat meals and hang out together (especially to watch The Walking Dead).
Of course, we’re still playing a fair amount of golf. The first annual Skeadas Cup, named after former player John Skeadas III, began this week to keep a competitive air about practice. Given a higher volume of class projects and other schoolwork, our practice schedule is much more flexible. These class assignments have ranged from surveying the town of Davidson to performing dance routines and, much like our tournaments, require a significant amount of preparation. Our team has managed this balancing act all year and must continue this pattern into the winter months.
An end on a high note only makes us want to keep playing. Our team struck a chord at the end of the year, with everyone playing in sync by the end of the fall. This extended preparation time (can we really call it the offseason?) will give us a chance to fine-tune our games so we can rock ‘n roll, or roll the rock, come February.