With the changing leaves and rapidly dropping temperature serving as a constant reminder of another Ithaca winter looming, no Cornell athletic team may be more affected by the change in weather than the golf squad.
The slightest change in conditions can greatly affect any round of golf, so battling the elements in upstate New York in mid-October is anything but easy.
“There’s no question that [the weather] affects everybody’s game,” said senior Bennett Myer. “[Coach Baughan] even sent out an email to us today telling everybody who’s traveling this weekend to bring both rain gear and extra cold weather clothes. As he put it, ‘welcome to college golf.’”
When the air temperature cools, not only do steel shafts stiffen up and golf balls harden, but players are also forced to wear more clothes, which hinders their flexibility, resulting in diminished distance.
“Most guys lose distance this time of year,” Myer said. “Personally, I’ll play more conservatively and kind of take what I can get out there. It’s not worth taking a lot of gambles because it’s that much harder to pull off a tough shot. Plus, being in Ithaca there’s a lot of wind and rain, which forces people to play even more conservatively.”
There is a somewhat gradual change in conditions from mid-summer to mid-fall, but putting a side-by-side comparison of the Red’s games from then until now would likely show a significantly different approach.
“You get used to it,” Myer said. “It can make things difficult, but everybody is dealing with the same thing, so you can’t use that as an excuse.”
This weekend Cornell travels to Westerly, R.I., to partake in the Northeast Intercollegiate tournament –– a new event that has a large number of schools competing including all eight Ivy League teams. This will be the Red’s last competitive tournament before its long winter layoff.
The weather forecast calls for wind and rain, which will make things interesting and undoubtedly affect the leaderboard.
“This will be a great opportunity to see how we stack up against the rest of the Ivy League before we head into the winter,” said senior captain Dan Bosse. “The weather could make it tough, but it’s the same for everybody.”
Original Author: Ware Cady