Sherwood Carrying On Family Tradition
By Miral Bessed
Sherwood carries on the family tradition.
It is not about walking on lush emerald green fields or chasing the sun. It is not even about luxury, money or fame.
When it comes to golf, 20-year-old Nick Sherwood says it is simply about pursuing what he loves. Sherwood is a junior attending the Oregon State University and is one of the star players on the Beavers' golf team.
"Golf is not about getting ahead of yourself," said Sherwood, native of Albany, Ore., who was once the No. 1-ranked golfer in Oregon according to the Oregon Junior Golf Association.
While he grew up toying with golf clubs, he came to love golf during his teenage years. As a senior at West Albany High School, winning medalist honors at the 2008 and 2009 5A state championships were the beginning of a successful golf career for Sherwood.
He has maintained his momentum right through college. Last summer, Sherwood topped the leaderboard in the 102nd Oregon Amateur Golf tournament. He shot an 8-under par 68-64--132 to earn medalist honor and the number one seed going into match play and the 64-player field.
Sherwood gets part of his athleticism from his father Bill Sherwood who played basketball for the Beavers in 1987-88.
"My dad can relate to what I am going through in the sporting world and mentally," Sherwood said.
Like father like son, Sherwood is a proud Beaver and loves having the spotlight. Sherwood's mother, Lynn Sherwood, also attended OSU, further strengthening the Beaver roots in the Sherwood household.
Another influential factor to Sherwood's success is the support of Corvallis community.
"They are always there to cheer you on," Sherwood said. "No matter what, I know that they will always have my back."
His coach Jon Reehorn has been working closely with Sherwood and has very high expectations for his future as a professional golfer.
"Nick posseses all the qualities that a coach looks for in an athlete," Reehorn said. While making it in the world of professional golf is rare and extremely competitive, Reehorn added, "his goal is to play pro golf and he will do anything in his power to get there."
In light of Sherwood's recent achievements, the expectation for him to win a championship this year is high. While many may give in under such pressure, Sherwood thrives on it. It gives him the confidence he needs to perform well.
"More than any sport, golf is a mental game," said Sherwood. "It's an individual sport, yet as a team, we all try to support each other."
Reehorn also highlighted Sherwood's ability to be a team leader, saying "he is the kind of guy everyone likes and respects, he is a great leader for the team."
While leadership, talent and discipline are crucial components of any sport, golf has an added demand for mental toughness. The phenomenon of mind over matter was once flawlessly demonstrated by the professional golfer Tiger Woods.
"I grew up watching Tiger Woods change the game of golf," said Sherwood, who likes to follow Woods' professional career. "Everybody goes through times when they are not playing well, and they are in a slump. That is the toughest time for a golfer," Sherwood said. "It's how you bounce back from those times that determines who you are and how good of a golfer you are going to be."
While other sports emphasize physical toughness and technique, golfers often have to master projecting confidence in addition to swinging a perfect stroke. Despite the chaos that may go on in a golfers head during a tournament, he or she has to perform with the utmost poise to be successful.
For Sherwood, calming his nerves down doesn't seem to pose a challenge. Sherwood's secret is that he doesn't think about it. Before he tees off, he says a few simple words in his head.
"I am happy. I am ready. I am going head on straight. I don't doubt myself. I am committing to who I am, and I am going to play golf. The game that I love."