Boys' Golf: Cole Witherow reflects after first season at New Life Academy and his love for golf
Last spring season, Cole Witherow was experiencing high school golf for the first time in his life with New Life Academy.
Not only was he experiencing it, he was one of the top golfers for the Eagles. Witherow was surprised with how much fun he had and the friendships he easily made with his fellow teammates.
After the 2018 season, he knew he wanted more within the summer months.
"We signed up for many different tournaments and leagues throughout the summer to make sure I could continue with learning," Witherow said. "It's been a fun summer and being able to play golf almost every day is amazing."
The sport of golf came to Witherow through watching television at a young age and the ability to hang out with friends because they played golf as well. Witherow's grandfather played the game of golf for a long time and helped introduce him to the game.
Witherow's father, Kyle, wasn't a big golfer until his son started playing more often. He said he's starting to understand the parts of a swing and the smaller details of golf, but he's still working on his game.
"Cole golfs and I just drive the golf cart," Kyle said jokingly. "I see the different aspects of his game that he continues to learn and it's fun to watch him continue to improve."
With the first season at New Life Academy in the books, Cole said he was happy with how the season went and how head coach Steve Nelson helped develop his skills as a golfer.
Kyle and Cole were both happy with how Nelson incorporated the faith component to the game with prayers on the bus before the tournament. After the experience this past spring, Cole knew he wanted to continue improving and playing the game he loves.
He joined a few leagues and associations throughout the summer to continue golfing.
The first is a golf league every Thursday at Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury. The second is a couple PGA leagues based on different ages. Cole plays mainly in the junior league, ages 5-13, but sometimes will play in the older league, ages 13-15, depending on tournament.
Finally, he's also apart of the Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) events, but these events aren't as often as the PGA tournaments.
"It's fun traveling around the state and playing against great competition," Cole said. "I've been able to improve my game, while also figuring out things I need to improve in."
One of the challenges Cole faces in his golf game is his emotions and the ability to control them. Cole is younger than most of his teammates and opponents, which means he might not hit the ball as far as most of his opponents. Kyle and Cole's instructor, Brent Snyder, said he needs to focus on himself and use his other parts of his game to continue shooting low scores.
"He's starting to face the mental part of the game, which is good because he'll learn how to control those emotions at a young age," Snyder said. "I told him to put himself into uncomfortable situations like playing with older golfers because he'll learn so much more from those situations."
Cole is learning to handle the situations thrown at him and understands once he gets older he can probably hit the ball farther. Since that can't happen at this moment, he's using his other strengths like a straight swing and high golf IQ to know what shots are appropriate for his size and the position he's in on any given situation.
Most importantly, Cole is having fun. He's enjoying the time he's spending with his father and grateful for everyone's help throughout his early years of playing the sport. He knows these opportunities wouldn't have happened without the help of coaches, encouragement from his friends and family and his love and passion towards the game of golf.
"I love the game of golf so much and I hope I continue to keep playing it for a very long time," Cole said. "Now, I'm just hoping to become a better golfer with each day on the course."