Freshman Dylan Crowley is in his first semester in the Golfhouse.
Oct. 11, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y.-- Team chemistry is an integral part of any team’s success in college athletics. Once teammates get to know each other, they know what each other’s goals are and a team identity is formed.
For most teams this can be a very long and difficult process, but in the case of St. John’s men’s golf team, they have the Golfhouse.
“I think the Golfhouse is a big reason why our team chemistry is so good,” junior Pat Wilson said. “All the guys on our team are really close and I think the reason for that is because we all live in the House together.”
The Golfhouse has been an ongoing tradition in the men’s golf program that has gone mostly undocumented; a hush-hush operation that has been kept alive by the small fraternity of players that pass through the ranks year after year. But the main idea of the house is to build that vital part of success: team chemistry.
“During my 18 years here at St. John's, It started just as a word-of-mouth but has since been developed into not only a recruiting tool but as a spearhead for great team chemistry” men’s golf head coach Frank Darby said.
For Freshman Dylan Crowley, his first experience of the Golfhouse came on his first recruiting trip to Queens where he saw dozens of clubs lying around the living room and the whole team sitting on the couch and watching TV, something that was very different from the schools that recruited him in his native California.
“It was very different because most schools in California the players on the teams just lived in dorms,” Crowley said. “For me to see that everybody was living together under one roof was nice because it showed how much of a connection everyone had with each other.”
The fact that the team is so small and that they all live together under one roof gives the players an edge on the course. Crowley said that “every player on the team does something exceptionally well” and their respective wisdom is dispersed every night at the dining room table before a tournament about how they are going to attack the course.
The Golfhouse has recently made headlines because St. John’s alumus and PGA Champion Keegan Bradley made a visit when he was competing in The Barclays tournament held in Plainfield, N.J. Bradley hit the links with a couple of former teammates and current players, grabbed a bite to eat afterwards at a local pizzeria and even stayed the night at the house.
“Nothing beats talking to a tour pro about what they do,” Crowley said. “It was a blast and it’s great to still have him be a part of the team chemistry.”
Darby said that the appearance by Bradley is a testament to how close former players and current members of the men’s golf team are.
“All team dynamics are different,” Darby said. “But it’s nice to see everyone doing things together and it’s even better how all of their relationships continue after they graduate.”
All of these friendships were born in the Golfhouse; an epicenter of team camaraderie that brings together golfers from all over the state, the Northeast region and the country. But when all of the symbolism is stripped away, the Golfhouse is ultimately a bunch of guys who are looking to get better as people and want to win.
“I knew that I would find out quickly how the other guys on the team were personality wise because we would be spending everyday in the same house,” Wilson said, “and fortunately for me, the guys on the team are now some of my closest friends.”