By, Kaitlin Fuelling '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – During the past eight years, the Santa Clara University's men's golf team has been consistently ranked among the nation's top 80 programs. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) was able to catch up with Carlos Briones (CB) who is one of the many freshmen on the Bronco men's golf team and talk about his time so far at Santa Clara.
The San Lorenzo local was ranked as Northern California's No. 2 college recruit and is one of the most accomplished local players to sign at Santa Clara University. He earned a great deal of success in a number of local championship matches and has twice qualified for the USGA Junior Amateur Championship. Briones has had a good start to his first season as a Bronco and is looking forward to helping SCU achieve a possible postseason run in the next few years.
SCB: How long have you been golfing?
CB: I've been golfing for about eleven years now.
SCB: What made you decide to play golf in college?
CB: I really had no intention of playing college golf at a young age, because I didn't think my game was good enough. But in the 7th grade, I received my first college recruitment letter. It pushed and motivated me to become a much better player. From then on, I wanted to play in college and here I am now.
SCB: How does practice work for the golf team?
CB: Our days are split up from play and qualifying days to practice days. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we go out and play 18 holes after classes. The low rounds will be the ones chosen to play in the upcoming tournaments. If there are not any tournaments, we just play for fun. Tuesdays and Thursdays are practice days where we split practice between individual and team. It takes about 4-4.5 hours to go play 18 holes and practice days usually last about 5-6 hours. We also try to practice on the weekends for about 3-4 hours over the weekend.
SCB: What are some of your goals this year, either for yourself or for the team?
CB: We all have ongoing goals such as winning conference or winning a tournament, but we also have stepping stone goals to reach those. One team goal is to keep each other motivated, make sure we all go to practice, and to all have really good communication with each other. I have a personal goal of creating an organized plan for the day and sticking to it, so I don't wonder off from my priorities.
SCB: Is there anything you would like to see happen during your time here at SCU?
CB: I would love to see an athletic event here, maybe soccer, volleyball or basketball.
SCB: What is the most memorable course you have played at?
CB: It would have to be the Pastiempo Golf Course in Santa Cruz. It's tough to play, but really beautiful, and just a fun place to be at.
SCB: If you could meet any golfer, past or present, who would it be and why?
CB: It would have to be Jack Nicklaus, because he is not only a very successful player, but also a phenomenal person. I would like to know what he thought on the golf course and how he handled himself on the golf course.
SCB: What do you consider the best part about golfing?
CB: I think the best part is the people and friendships you make out of it. You meet some great people and make great relationships.
SCB: The golf season is different from other sports in that it continues throughout the year, rather than one quarter. Do you see this as an advantage/disadvantage or how do you think it affects your training?
CB: It can be seen as both, but I see it as an advantage, because it makes you stay on top of things. As a student athlete, you don't have as much time as others and have to really make an effort to manage time wisely. Having a season that lasts more than one quarter actually helps maintain our game because we are playing year round.
SCB: Golf is interesting in that it doesn't seem to have a definite "season." How does this make your sport different from others?
CB: You get to play all the time almost year round. For me and for all my teammates, we all love it, because we get to practice and get better.
SCB: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't golfing?
CB: I like to hang out with friends, play intramural sports or play some video games.
SCB: What is something that other students or the SCU community may not know about you or the golf team?
CB: I was born in the Philippines!