Chip, chip, cheerio: Brewers’ golf competes in England

Courtesy of Nick Jallat.

Every spring break the women’s golf team takes a trip, usually to some warm American climate, but this year the group mixed things up, jetting across the pond to the United Kingdom.

The team spent their days playing different courses, meeting members of the golf clubs at which they played and getting the chance to sightsee around London. All six members of the team and their coaches attended the trip.

Sophomore Morgan Yi reflected on her week abroad, explaining over email that the trip was “a unique and exciting experience.” The team met people from Burford Ladies, Oxford Golf Club Ladies and the club members at Royal St. George’s.

“My favorite part of the trip was getting to meet the players at the different golf clubs,” Yi commented. “All of the players were extremely kind, helpful, and interesting to talk to.”

This trip was also a first for many of the players, all but one of whom had never been to the U.K. before. Yi explained that it was everyone’s first time playing golf in the U.K., which was an all-around exciting experience. Additionally, this spring break trip presented numerous opportunities for team bonding.

Given that the team stayed in the same Airbnbs and hotels throughout the trip, they were able to spend significant time in each other’s company.

“We also got to explore London during our free time together, which gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better,” Yi explained. “Between sightseeing and eating meals together, this trip offered plenty of time for the team to connect.”

Andy Jennings has been the women’s golf head coach for several years, leading the program from 2003-2007, and then returning in 2015.

For Jennings, this trip proved special because it was the first time that the team has ever gone abroad for their spring break. “We always go to Florida, [California], or maybe the Carolinas so [we] decided we needed a change and the team chose England,” Jennings explained via email. “It was something I was able to make happen relatively easily in terms of the logistics, so it was a great choice.”

The women’s team documented their trip on the Vassar Athletics website and talked about some experiences they had on it. The first entry noted that when the team arrived, Coach Jennings’ good friend, who used to be a taxi driver in London, took the team around to show them the sights.

“We drove around for over an hour listening to all the history of the buildings, including the most famous such as Westminster Abbey, the House of Commons and Buckingham Palace,” wrote the team on their Vassar Athletics blog.

Jenning’s group had the opportunity to play some incredible courses while they were in the U.K. The team competed against Oxford University Ladies team in a great match that ended in a tie. Coach Jennings explained that playing at Royal St. Georges was probably the highlight of the trip.

Considered one of the top courses in the world, Royal St. Georges is famous in the professional golfing community. It has hosted 14 PGA Open Championships and will host again in 2020. Said Jennings, “[It was] an incredible honor for us to be there for two days, playing the course, dining in the dining room.”

The biggest challenge the team faced in the U.K. was the windy weather, but, as Jennings put it, “that is spring golf in the U.K.” The team commented on the wind in their journal posts, citing an afternoon that they spent practicing their “punch shots” in 35 mph winds, a typical day for golfers in England during this time of year.

Overall, Coach Jennings was pleased with the way the trip turned out: “The players were all really responsible and were great team players, represented Vassar really well and came away with a real appreciation of the people, the culture and, of course, the golf.”

The Brewers enjoyed traveling over spring break and came away with some amazing memories. This trip also gave the team the opportunity to start their season off on the right foot and prepare for their first scheduled match this spring, which is the Vassar College invitational, set to take place on April 20 and 21.

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