During the men’s golf conference championship in 2018, sophomore economics major Avery Keating averaged 73.3 points, compared to his season average of 76.7. Keating credits his success to the mental preparation and competitive mindset he puts himself in before a tournament.
“He’s physically matured, but he’s mentally more mature. He doesn’t quit. He’s a grinder,” said head coach Ming Lao.
Five seniors on the golf team graduated last year, but Lao said Keating will be able to step up and lead by example.
“If he stays the course the younger kids will look up to him,” Lao said.
For Keating, the most important part of playing at a new course is the mental preparation leading up to his matches.
“I learned from last season about the courses that we play and how you need to prepare to play each different one,” Keating said. “They all have different aspects to them and challenge you in different ways.”
During the 2017-2018 season, Keating had the third best scoring average at Chapman at 76.7 points, trailing behind senior Griffin Tso and sophomore Brody Hval, who average 74.5 and 75.9 respectively.
Since Keating’s father was a golfer, Keating learned most of what he knows about the sport from him. While he learned about the game’s ground rules from his father, Keating said his mother taught him to control his emotions during critical points of the game.
“My mom helped me a lot with my mental aspects of golf,” Keating said.
Unlike other sports, golf requires a strong mental game more than a physical one, Keating said. In spite of a player reaching his or her athletic prime, Keating believes the mental aspect of golf can drive a player to the next level.
“You need to get into a zone of focus when you’re warming up and you need to prepare yourself to focus for the entire four or five hours,” Keating said. “Each shot, you know you can give 100 percent to.”
For Keating, being a strong-minded individual extends beyond the golf course. The men’s golf team has the highest GPA of any mens’ sports teams on campus at 3.39, Lao said.
“I don’t see (the golf team’s GPA) dropping,” Lao said. “(Keating) is a smart kid.”