Maddie Greene (sophomore) is in her second season on the college’s women’s golf team. She led the team at their most recent competition, scoring 83-81-164 and placing 20th. Greene said her interest in golf began at a young age, and spans generations in her family.
“I started playing when I was seven or eight years old just with my dad and grandpa very casually,” Greene said. “I grew up playing with my dad and practicing with him. That’s how I got involved.”
Greene said she began playing golf competitively in her early teens and she continues to work to improve her game. Greene’s next competition, the California Lutheran Invitational, begins March 13 at Moorpark Country Club. Greene said she participated in this competition before, placing in the top 10 her first year. This year, she said she plans to strive for success again.
“Golf is a very mental game,“ Greene said. “Trusting my shot each time has definitely been a challenge for me to overcome.”
Green said that preparing for competitions looks different for everyone on the team, as each player has specific skills to focus on. Though golf is in many ways an independent sport, Greene said she benefits from her team community.
“Both my coaches are amazing. They really motivate me, and it’s nice to know that they want to see me improve, too. I know I always have people I can work with or talk to in terms of my golf game,” Greene said. “I really love everyone on my team. It can be a fun experience, but then it’s motivating as well to be competitive with them.”
Greene’s coach, William Morris, said he feels that despite the small team, Greene is a source of leadership and support to her teammates.
“She leads quietly but by example and she’s obviously very good. Indeed, golf is a quirky sport, in that it’s an individual sport but there’s a team aspect, and the other players like her as a teammate,” Morris said.
Coach Morris recognizes Greene’s drive and hopes to see her continue to enjoy golf as she works toward her goals.
“It’s a tough grind. The time commitment is enormous in that all of our events are off campus and they’re long days, so it takes a lot of juggling and she’s done a great job of that,” Morris said.
Greene said she wants golf to remain a part of her life after she graduates from the college.
“I coach kids when I’m at home and so I’d like to maintain that. Whether it’s here or back home, [the goal is] possibly getting my teaching certification so that I can semi-professionally teach,” Greene said.
Miles Eastman (first year) began his college career intending to play golf and said his first season on the college’s men’s golf team has been a success so far.
“There are aspects of my game that I’ve gotten better at,” Eastman said. “It took me some time to adjust from high school to college, and get into the groove.”
At his most recent competition, the Spring Shootout, Eastman scored 74, leading the team. Earning second place overall, Eastman said he appreciated the experience of playing with his teammates.
“It was great. We went up in the team van with our coaches and got to play against three good teams,” Eastman said. “I love the guys on the team. We’ve got a really good group of a lot of first years and sophomores that contribute well to the team. We have really good chemistry, and the assistant coach is great.”
Eastman’s teammate Max Malakoff (sophomore) said he met Eastman at the beginning of this school year. However, Malakoff was aware of Eastman’s golf ability before they even began playing together.
“He was kind of the main recruit coming in that we knew was going to be a good player on the team,” Malakoff said.
Though Eastman is only in his first season playing for Occidental College, Malakoff said he feels that Eastman has already become an integral part of the team.
“Everyone on the team respects Miles. He’s going to be at practice, and he’s going to be reliable. He’s a top three player on the team. He brings that with his score and he is also good for the camaraderie. We all get along pretty well,” Malakoff said.
Malakoff said he also notes Eastman’s success in balancing his first semester in college with his first season on the team.
“Coming to college really disrupts a lot of your competitive and practice routines,” Malakoff said. “I think now we know Miles is one of the best players and I think he was able to create that routine that is so crucial.”
Eastman said he is confident about the team’s projected success at the next tournament, the California Lutheran Invitational. Eastman said he has personal goals for the upcoming tournament.
“I want to go under par. That’s kind of my main goal. I’ve been hanging right around par, just a little bit over and I want to go under,” Eastman said. “I want to just keep playing better and keep improving.”
Contact Ella Birchard at email@example.com.