The varsity golf team is scheduled to play four of its toughest games during Spring vacation. This is precisely two weeks before Coach Bill Barclay will choose a varsity golf team.
In the meantime, Barclay has scraped up four old lettermen and four other students who were playing well in the fall. These are the men who travel south on April 4 to meet squads from North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Georgetown.
When they get back after Easter, they will join the 25 other varsity candidates and start competing for jobs on the regular team. "Everyone will be equal," says Barclay. "We won't give a special advantage to the men on the southern trip."
But the players on the peek-preview team have a good chance of staying on all spring. They include Bill Rickenbacker, junior champion of New York City; Hugh Nawn, number-one man on the '51 freshman team; and Sam Seagar, who beat Princeton last year on a 12-foot putt after dark.
The others are Dick O'Keefe, a putting ace; Crawford Hubbell; Herb Mee; and player-manager Jack Denton, Rickenacker, O'Keefe, Seagar, and Denton are lettermen the only golf lettermen in College.
The first-edition squad is good; when the playoffs for the team were held last fall, one of the men who didn't make it was Dave Gorman, junior champion of Cincinnati. But the group is still headed for a rough time when it embarks for the South.
In the South, suh, there's no sech thing as snow, and people knock off nine holes before and after every corn fritter. While the Harvard squad has been swinging ski poles and replacing the turf on sitzmarks, the southern schools have spent the last month practicing on blossoming courses.
North Carolina will be a hard college to beat, but the squad hopes to do well against the other three. Whatever happens, it will have the jump on northern schools when it comes back to Boston. The Varsity will have plenty of practice behind it when it meets Clark April 13 and Dartmouth April 16.
It has ten more meets after that, one of the longest golf schedules in College history. Players for the matches will be chosen at the beginning of each week, when Barclay will run playoffs inside the team.
Besides these playoffs, Barclay won't have much work to do with the team. Golf is famous for its remote-control system of coaching, since the only way to improve is to practice by yourself. By the time a man is good enough to make the team, he presumably knows enough to keep his eye on the ball and not use a driver in a sandtrap.
Also, the team practices at Dedham Country Club and theoretically can't see much of Barclay, who is a pro at the Salem Country Club.
Golf would be an easy game to follow this spring, if there weren't any scoring. The team will use three different methods of tallying a meet, depending on whom it plays. Sometimes the final score will add up to seven, sometimes nine, and sometimes 27. Unlike single rounds, the winner is the team that scores the most points. Don't let it throw you.