The Kaiser golf season has teed off, with the cougars having played in all six tournaments this year. Kaiser’s golf team this year consists of three boys and four girls as well as a practice team. This year has been a little different for the golfers, but for the most part has been an enjoyable experience.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, some expected big changes to the sport to address distancing restrictions like the other sports that got to play this year. However, “there have not really been a lot of changes,” coach Wade Nakamura said, “because it’s easy to social distance on a golf course and it’s all outdoors so it’s pretty safe.” Besides wearing masks, the team does not have group practices. Also, during the tournaments, they play with their own teammates. Instead, they practice individually, and sometimes the weekend before the tournament they have a practice round.
This season is different for the golfers than last year, as this year they are able to participate in tournaments. The players are taking the opportunities where they can; junior Nanami Yokoyama “was able to participate in one tournament because I signed up for the ones that were during and after spring break,” she said. Although, for Nakamura as a coach, “it is a little more work because of the extra paperwork and more beginner players,” he said.
Despite these changes due to COVID-19, the biggest draw of the golf season is not the competition. “I usually look forward to competing in the state tournaments,” Nakamura said, “but since that’s cancelled this year, I guess I am just looking forward to reconnecting with my players and seeing how much they improved after not seeing them for so long.” Yokoyama is also satisfied with how the season has gone so far. “I like being able to play golf during this pandemic because I am not able to participate in my other extracurriculars,” Yokoyama said. “I get to put more time into golf and I have gotten to see myself improve over this past year.” Although this 2021 season was different from most, it was good that the golfers were finally able to get back on the course.
With Kaiser’s 2021 golf season coming to an end, the players are looking forward to what’s to come. “I am looking forward to going to states since it was canceled this year and because I also couldn’t go on my freshman year,” Yokoyama said. “This season was a good experience and was overall enjoyable.”