Matt Philie, Glenelg, golf

Q&A --

November 08, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,Sun Reporter

Sophomore Matt Philie, in his second season on varsity, was the top golfer for Glenelg, which captured county, district and state crowns this fall. Philie, who has a 3.5 handicap, picked up golf when he was 6, playing with his father, Mike. After shooting a 72 to lead the Gladiators to the district title, he fired a 78 on the first day and an 80 on the second in state play. Along with golf, Philie plays ice hockey and lacrosse. He maintains a 4.0 grade point average, and his favorite subjects are science and U.S. history. He also enjoys music and plays the guitar.

What was it like winning the state title?

It was unexplainable - something no Howard County team had ever done. From the start of the year, we weren't even looked at much in the county, and here we are winning states.

What does it take to have a successful golf game?

Really, just going out in the summer every day, hitting balls and playing. I find that playing and getting in those situations that you can't get on the range - that's what makes you a better player. If I were to practice - just messing around and not concentrating - that only makes it worse for when I have competitions. So as far as making myself a good player, it's just getting out there and playing golf. There's no days off.

What do you enjoy most about golf?

It's really a stupid game - one day you go out and shoot 90 and the next day you shoot 72 - that's the part I like about it. Composure-wise, you can't give up. You can hit it in the trees and knock it out and get a birdie, or you can get mad at yourself and make it even worse. That's what I like about golf - it's more mental than anything else.

How does golf differ from the other sports you play?

In team sports, I have to rely on my teammates, and I have to support them and vice versa. In golf, you're basically competing individually, and it goes back to maintaining your composure and the mental part of the game.

You play a lot of golf with your father. What do you get out of that time?

He's in the printing business as a salesman, so he gets out there for those business meetings and he knows it doesn't matter how good you are in golf, but what kind of person you are. As far as his golf skills, I can't really learn much more from him, but it's the life lessons and mental lessons that we share.

If you could give one piece of advice to a struggling golfer, what would it be?

Don't worry about your swing - just trust it. You can have the best swing in the world, but if you doubt yourself, or change it every hole, you're just going to take steps backward.

What was the celebration like after the team won the state title?

It's still hard to grasp now that we're champions. But right afterward, we must have spent 20 minutes there on the putting green after everybody else had left just soaking it all in, holding the trophy and all that stuff. We all had the biggest smiles on our faces, and I couldn't remember a time our coach [Bob Bowen] had been that happy before.

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