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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

“You’re Competing Against Yourself”

Golf Captain Ryan Lee Takes Stock of His Life in the Sport
Prima Changwatchai
Looking into the distance, Ryan Lee ’25 aims his club before teeing off. One of the captains of the golf team, Lee has been playing golf competitively for seven years.

When Junior Golf Captain Ryan Lee began his golf journey nine years ago, he didn’t anticipate that he would start playing competitively two years later, join the boys’ golf team as a freshman, work his way up to the team’s top five players, and, eventually, become the captain of the prestigious and accomplished Westwood golf team.

Lee originally chose to pursue golf over other sports he tried due to the possibilities it unlocked.

“At one point I was doing soccer, swimming, and golf at the same time but I didn’t have time to do all three [so] I decided to focus on golf,” Lee said. “I just really liked being outside and having an outside sport, and definitely [enjoyed] the competitive aspect of [golf] because you’re competing against yourself and also other players.”

Lee’s favorite memories from the team consist of being around his friends and spending hours at a time participating in golf tournaments over the summer. According to Lee, golf can be used later in life as a way of social interaction, setting up a potential future with the sport.

“The [most fun] moment was when we played at Aggieland,” Lee said. “It was called Aggie Club and it was one of the biggest tournaments. It was really fun because we got to stay overnight and a lot of other really good golf teams came and we got to compete.”

Throughout the years, Lee faced challenges from waking up early to limited practice time during school due to the golf course closing on some Mondays, or during winter due to an early sunset. Additionally, Lee wishes that he were able to double-block golf in order to increase his practice time. Despite these setbacks, Lee continues practicing regularly to build his skills through repetition.

“I’ve learned that you have to work hard [in golf],” Lee said. “If you don’t practice on a daily basis, then golf is really going to show you that nothing is [freely] given.”

Since captain position on the boys golf team was not competitive, Lee was chosen to be the boys’ golf captain without needing to prepare a speech. He volunteered to be the team’s captain because he felt that it would be a good leadership role, and wanted to suggest changes to improve the incoming freshman’s integration into the team.

“For me, I didn’t think it was that difficult [to integrate into the team],” Lee said, “but for the incoming freshmen this year, they had a really small class, so it was a little harder for them to adjust.”

According to Lee, in the past, members of the golf team could qualify for the top five by playing several rounds, but this year’s new head coach, Coach Blake Boyett, implemented a new qualification system: Challenge Week, where team members could challenge other players and potentially take their spots. To benefit from this new system, new players need to build up their skills through repetitive practice.

“If you have more competition, the team gets better,” Lee said. “[We need to help] the freshmen develop more by playing tournaments. That’s something we can work together on.”

As of now, Lee’s most anticipated school golf event is the district tournament at Delaware Springs at the very end of March, which he has been preparing for through tournaments, as well as practices at the Delaware Springs golf course.

“It’s a really big tournament [and] it’s really easy to mess up,” Lee said. “Some of my weaknesses are controlling my nerves. [But] I think some of my strengths are staying focused and just thinking about the next shot because you can’t think about your past, or your future’s not going to be as good.”

After graduating high school, Lee hopes to continue his golf career through a college team. Looking back on Westwood golf, he also hopes that the team will continue to succeed once he’s gone.

“Hopefully the team is going to have good senior leaders that can teach the incoming freshmen what they can do, and also develop the younger players into [improving],” Lee said.

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About the Contributor
Prima Changwatchai
Prima Changwatchai, Community & World News Editor
Class of 2025 I love writing, photography, and design, so I’m thrilled to be on Student Press! When I’m not doing journalism work, I’m still typing up stories and taking photographs, only I’m also doing the daily New York Times puzzles, making little doodles in my math notebook, reading anything from poetry to fantasy fiction, learning new songs on the piano, and overthinking everything.

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    Kim Van de VereJan 8, 2024 at 10:47 pm

    Excellent story!! Ryan’s a true inspiration for others!! -Mrs. V.