Young Whaler Golf Team Hopes To Turn Potential Into Results

David Creed •

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Sam Herrick grew up on the fifth hole of Sankaty. He has loved the game of golf for as long as he can remember and now he is entering his first season as the leader of Nantucket’s varsity golf team. He is assisted by his father Hal Herrick, former head coach Nate Roberts, and friend Dano Lynch. Herrick said he is excited about having the opportunity to help guide this young group of Whaler golfers to a productive season.

“Oh I love this job man. It is great. What better way to give back to the community than to come out here, teach some golf. It is a sport I grew up around. I grew up on the fifth hole of Sankaty. This is a sport I definitely wish I had played competitively when I was growing up. I think a lot of former athletes would say the same thing,” Herrick said.

The Whalers will play their matches at the Miacomet Golf Course. Herrick said there are some players standing out already who he believes will play key roles for this team from the very beginning.

“I am really happy with what I am seeing out of (senior) Aidan Sullivan. I have liked how (junior) Cole Chambers is playing and he has been really good. Those two worked this summer at the Miacomet course as a summer job so I think that really helped their game too. Just being around the game. (Junior) Henry Kathawala has been playing really well also. He is going to be a great player for us. I love (junior) Joan Harris. She is an unbelievable athlete, has a great swing. We have a couple of things we need to work on with her too but she is going to be an incredible asset to this team moving forward. She is a junior also like many other players, so we got a very young team. (Junior) Colby O’Keefe is another one who just hits the ball really well. We are looking for him to improve and for him and everyone else, it is all about how bad these kids want it. They have all the tools right in front of them. Everyone is willing and all in from myself, my Dad (Hal) Dano, and Nate.”

Herrick said the $25,000 check given to the program from Sankaty Golf Club in June has made an enormous impact on the kids. The funds came from last year’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

“Their funds have helped us with equipment, helped us with paying for the clinics with professionals, helped us secure tee times on Sunday nights, so a lot of these kids took advantage of the clinics with Mike Haberl here so I can’t thank Sankaty enough. The goal was to get these kids to play before we came into the season because our first match as you know is the first day of school (September 6). It is coming up fast.”

Herrick said he and his staff’s main focus right now is teaching these players the importance of course management.

“Anybody can get up there and hit a driver, but you need to be going into it with the mindset of what is the safe shot here, what is my miss. It is more so working on the mental game. You don’t always have to be hitting with a driver on hole two. It is a short par four you know, so just give yourself an opportunity. You need to be mentally sharp. You need to be able to manage the course and where you play. The mental aspect is just a huge, huge thing. That is a point of emphasis we are working on right now.”

Herrick said he is ecstatic to have Roberts on his coaching staff and questioned whether he would have taken the coaching job if Roberts wasn’t available to work as one of his assistants.

“Nate knows the job,” Herrick said. “He knows the ins and outs. I think having the help with Nate, Dano, and Hal has just been unbelievably huge with my introduction into coaching and being a coach. But Nate being there has taught me how the program runs forward, how we should approach matches, and you have to be a whole lot more organized than I thought you would.”

The full Whaler golf schedule can be accessed by clicking here.

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