Men's Golf Team
The Williams Men's Golf Team is one of the most successful Division III golf programs in the country and is the 10-time defending Little Three Champion. The team has made the 23-team NCAA Tournament field 10 times, with its best finish a 10th place showing in 1999. Roster size generally ranges from 10-14 players whose golf games range from scratch to 3 or 4 handicaps. Certainly one of the best perks of making the team is enjoying unlimited playing and practicing privileges at the beautiful Taconic Golf Club.
Team members and alums
Present and past members of the golf team, along with their nicknames, are listed.
Captains for the 2010-2011 season are Bob Camp, Drew Murray, Jack Killea, and Jake Wagner.
Class of 2014: Cody (Smelly) Semmelrock, Ross (Husband) Bowen, Dylan (America) Dethier, and Jake (Snake) Abrahams
Class of 2013: Ryan Brand, Jack Ervasti, Wyatt (Mudbone) Sparks, Hrishi Srinagesh, Alex Xu
Class of 2012: Siwol Chang, Chris Valle, Mario Mastromarino, Ari Kerstein
Class of 2011: Bob Camp, Drew Murray, Jack Killea (Loaf), Jake Wagner, Jack Wadden^, Rob Kalb^
Class of 2009: Rahul Bahl (Hard H, Squirrel, the Indian), Chris Chiang (Chianger), Matt Felser (15), Logan Gerrity, David Ramsay (Rammerz, Youngblood), Tyler Zara (owl), Galen Jackson
Class of 2008: Brendan Conley (Lapdog), Jeff Lin (Linny the Pooh, Linnypooh, Chris), Nicholas Nottebohm (NotteBOOM, sick boy), Nick Ryder^ (Cup, Walmart), Don Wieczorek^ (Gary, Woogie, Donnie)
Class of 2007: Kevin Kellert (Stilts, Lambda, Kevbo,Sandhill Crane, Tuberculosis, Chief Tall Bear, Space Constant), Alex Mallory (Dirtbag, 13, DB), Frank Haluska
Class of 2006: John Kildahl , Will Sirignano (C-Ring, High Octane, Nano), Matt Slovitt (Slops), Tim Evans (Timmy), Matt Wilka^ (Wilka-monster)
Class of 2005: Kurt Brumme (Old Saggy, Old Saggy Brummbag, General Brumsfeld), Zach McArthur (Z-Mac, Uncle Z, Beached Whale, Uncle Th), John Harris^
Class of 2004: Bryan Harmon (BH), Ross Koller (Rossy), Ned Wydysh
Class of 200?: Michael Dougherty^ (Mike D)
^ - no longer with program.
Here are some recent memories of monument and misfortune that will go down in golf team history.
After a year and a half of self-proclaimed underachievement, the Ephs stepped up their games at the 2009 Williams Invitational. The "A" squad fired an impressive 288 on day 1, led by Jack Killea and Chris Valle's matching 70s. The "B" squad was not too far behind with a 297, led by freshman Jack Ervasti's 70. After Saturday, the "A" squad sat in first place, 2 shots clear of Salem St. and 6 ahead of NYU.
Then came Sunday. Junior Jack Killea brought his scuba gear to Taconic with a clever 6-under 29 on the front side. In totally unexplored territory, the sweat glands got working a little bit, and Jack made the surprising decision to play the back nine with a rain glove on his right hand. Ass in a handbag, or whatever, one golf professional noted. But it worked, as Jack fired a 67 for a 137 weekend total and the individual 2nd place. He was helped by a 68 from Jake Wagner, a 73 by Chris Valle, and a 74 by Wyatt "Chip-in" Sparks. In total, the "A" squad posted a slim 282 on Sunday. The 570 total was good for a 10 shot victory. Not to be forgotten, the "B" squad fired a 303 for a 600 weekend total. Appropriately, the entire team was given glass Taconic 24-oz. mugs as awards.
The 2007-2008 Ephs arrived at Shuttle Meadow with golf clubs and a list of demands. Two days later, they walked out with Tervis Tumblers as freshman Jack Killea, Drew Murray, Jake Wagner and upperclassmen Matt Felser and Brendan Conley lapped the field in Connecticut with a 590. 66 Hoxsey threw a party for the newly crowned NESCAC Champions that will never be forgotten.
Suggested listening: List of Demands, anything about Hotlanta
Playing in the season-ending District Shootout event at Taconic in late April, 2005, the Ephs needed a great finish to ensure an invitation to the NCAA field. After a score of 304 on Saturday to put them in 3rd place, on Sunday the team lapped the field with the best single-round score in Williams Golf history - a 289.
Leading the way was junior captain Matt Slovitt, who ran off a string of birdies, including four straight culminating on the 11th hole where he found himself 6-under par. Matt finished the day at 1-under par 70. Sophomore Kevin Kellert finished the front nine with a 32, and was shocked to hear that 3-under wasn't even good enough to be best on the team at that point! Kevin finished with an even-par 71 to share tournament medalist honors with Slovitt. Freshman phenom Nick Ryder played a consistent round of golf, ending with a birdie on 18 for an even-par 71. Junior Will Sirignano rounded out the scoring with a solid 77, making the team total an eye-popping 289 and cementing Williams a spot in Orlando at Nationals.
The headline of the article following an October, 2003 tournament was "Ephs Fall Victim to Bizarre Course Set-up @ ECAC Championship." However, it was certainly freshman Alex Mallory that bore the brunt of the bizarre course set-up.
The 10th hole at Saratoga Spa golf course is a short, overly narrow par four that ends with the most severe green on the course - a two-tiered surface pitching sharply from back to front. In a ridiculous and controversial decision, the pin on this day was cut almost right into the tier, making it virtually impossible to keep any ball near the hole. With many players struggling to find the elusive hole, backups on the tee reached 5 group waits.
After hitting the green in regulation 2 strokes, Alex proceeded to 13-putt the green for a 15 on the hole. The remaining members of the team four and five-putted, as 3 foot missed putts ended up 30 or more feet away. Certain that this unfair situation would be turned into an automatic 2-putt (as the fourth green was on this day), Alex went on to post a fine 1-over par performance for the other 17 of his holes. However, the tournament director apparently did not see a big enough issue and chose to let the scores stand. Enraged Williams golf coach Rick Pohle refused to stay for the tournament conclusion and wrote numerous official complaint letters to throw the tournament results out. The effort went unrewarded, and the team's drop from 2nd or 3rd to 9th place in the ECAC championship because of the hole location was a large factor in missing Nationals at the end of the year.
Williams' major golf rival is Skidmore College, the other elite program in the Northeast District. One of Skidmore's best players in the last few years has been Stuart Drahota '07, who has become an idol in the eyes of many on the Williams team -- and not only because of his ultra-cool green shoes that read "STU", his winning a tournament by shooting 66 with rental clubs after his were stolen the night before, his very tight relationship with Alex Mallory, or his showing up at Kevin Kellert's 21st birthday party on the Williams campus. Stu is everywhere. He even bumped into John Kildahl '06 during the summer of 2006, but not in Williamstown, or even the US. They were the only two people left late at night in a deserted train station - in Prague.
"Stu?!" "Johnny Booze?!"
Stu cemented his godly status with the Wiliams golf team with a single shot on the 18th hole of the Saratoga Spa golf course in the fall of 2004. Playing with Williams freshman Brendan "Lapdog" Conley, Stu missed a 2-foot putt by an inch on the 17th hole and proceeded to show the only flash of anger he has ever had on the golf course, slamming his putter into his foot and bending it.
After using the broken putter to tap in, Stu and Lapdog went to the 18th. As they were playing in the #1 position, they had teed off last and were set to finish the 18th with the rest of the field and coaches ringing the green. Of course, this was going to get interesting as Stu could not use his bent putter, as it is against the rules to do so. "What club would Stu use to putt?", thought Lapdog, as they walked up the fairway. "His wedge? His driver?" With no putter available, Stu, however, found the best solution. Approaching the green from 150 yards out, Stu swung a 9-iron that sent the ball onto the green, hopping toward the pin, and amazingly, going in the hole for an eagle 2! Stu never needed to putt. Stu is a golf god.
Golf Digest Article
The magazine Golf Digest decided to focus on college golf for a portion of its September, 2005 issue. It ranked the top collegiate programs (regardless of division) in three categories: "Golf First," "Academics First," and "Balanced." Williams earned the 10th place spot in the "Academics First" ranking, edging out 11th place Harvard and far ahead of 24th place Amherst. In addition to this recognition, the magazine chose to highlight the typical life of a golfer at several schools. Along with Division I powerhouses Wake Forest and Southern Cal, they looked to Williams, where Coach Pohle quickly recommended they follow around Matt Slovitt for a day. In addition to having a reporter trail Matt from class to the golf course to parties, Golf Digest hired a famous photographer to put together a photo essay of the team. James Rexroad arrived in Williamstown straight from Colombia, where he had spent a week photographing "the most dangerous neighborhood in the world" for National Geographic. The week he spent with the Williams golfers was a little different: James photographed and played beirut with Matt, ate at the Forge with Nick and Brendan, then hopped a flight to Florida with the team and spent some time thrift-store shopping with Zach. The resulting pictures and article in Golf Digest gave the Williams program a nice bit of national exposure.
For any students of Italian at Williams, the writeup even made it into Il Mondo Del Golf, as reprinted below.
"Matthew Slovitt di Winnetka, Illinois, assapora una classica esperienza universitaria: una delle migliori scuole di Lettere, un programma di golf competitivo, squash universitario junior, piccole commedie e una crociera di 14 giorni per studiare filosofia e biologia alle Isole Galapagos. “Sono molto impegnato, ma tutti i miei amici hanno molte cose da fare” dice il co-capitano. “ e riescono anche a giocare a beachvolley”.
8:45 Sveglia, colazione.
9:55 lezione di diplomazia. “Non sono un gran politico-scientifico-teorico, ma la lezione è al 100 per cento discussione stimolata dai 12 studenti della classe”.
11:10 Biblioteca. Avendo come materie principali biologia ed economia, studiare quattro ore al giorno, cinque giorni a settimana è lo standard.
12:15 Un panino veloce, nella sede di scienze recentemente rinnovata.
12:55 Invio di e-mail dal computer della biblioteca per concordare la pratica del golf nel pomeriggio.
13:00 Tre ore di laboratorio di microbiologia. “È una classe veramente difficile, ma imparo molto”.
16:15 Sul tee al Taconic Golf Club con i miei compagni di squadra Uncle Z (Zach McArthur), Lapdog (Brendan Conley), e Cup (Nick Ryder). Gioco 10 buche veloci.
18:50 Cena: insalata, pollo, pasta, Gatorade e uno yogurt.
20:00 Lavoro a un compito di economia con un giocatore di tennis.
23:00 Festa dei quattro anni di Frosh Revue. “ La mia peggiore esibizione l’ho fatta cercando di cantare una canzone scritta da noi. Terribile”.
2:00 Luci spente."
Uncle Z would forever cement himself in the annals of Golf Team Lore by coming no less than 20 times to Williams College the year AFTER he graduated. In fact according to some testimonials, he was sighted more in 2006 at parties than the year earlier. Uncle Z was first spotted by freshman Rahul Bahl, Chris Chiang, and Matt Felser at the first "official golf party" at the B. He would then continue to keep in contact with the golf team... via golf parties. In fact, it soon became more of a surprise not to see Uncle Z than to actually see him. As our adopted uncle, Uncle Z not only met up with Slovitt and Lapdog in Europe, but even happened to visit the golf team on Spring Break.
Rounds to Remember
1. The 289: a buzz around Taconic unlike any other.
2. Alex and Kevin shooting twin 69's in 2005 tryouts.
3. BH's 74 in the cold and sleet at Saratoga Spa in 2003.
4. Brumme's 14 straight pars before a "biblical" downpour in fall, 2003.
5. Kildahl, Slovitt, Conley shooting 73's, Mallory 75 for a 294 at Midd.
6. BH's 70 - with a lost ball - in the 2003 Eph Classic.
7. Will Sicks' 68-69 = 137 at the Williams Invitational his junior year.
8. Brumme winning holes 16 and 17 to clinch Little 3's over Amherst, 2004.
9. Slovitt's back to back 70's his freshman year tryouts.
10. Z-Mac and BH hitting 10 straight GIR alternate-shot at Little 3's.
11. Alex's 84 aka 73 at the Spa.
12. A 2-under par 70 by Ryder at Shenandoah fall of 2004.
13. Ned birdieing 18 to shoot 69 and beat Mihm by a stroke his sophomore year.
14. A 295 at Nationals in 2003.
15. Z-Mac's solid 78 on Spring Break at Mission Inn.
16. Team two-round record 290-293 = 583 at Taconic in September, 2001.
17. Ryder beating Kevin in the final putting match, Spring Break 2005.
The highlight of the golf team's season is an annual 2-week spring break trip to Florida. Most players make the long drive down the East Coast, leaving campus after classes end on the Friday before break begins and arriving in Florida on Sunday. In 2003 and 2004, the trip down fortunately coincided with the Williams Men's Basketball Team's appearance in the Final Four the same weekend in Salem, Virginia. Thus both spring breaks began on high notes, as the golfers witnessed Williams winning the championship on last second free throws in 2003, and beating rival Amherst in a heated semi-final matchup in 2004. The 24-hour ride down - as the temperature creeps up, the windows slowly get rolled down, and the beats of Rap Classics blare into the warm Carolina air - is the perfect kickoff to two amazing weeks. On the flip side, the long ride back to Williamstown, driving through the night toward the spring's cold rain and sleet, can be a depressing 24 hours.
The team goes to improve their golf and beirut skills. Detailed statistics for golf (fairways, greens in regulation, putts, sand saves, and penalty strokes) and beirut (cups hit, wal-marts, last cup hit, quotes) are meticulously recorded.
In 2004 and 2005, Zach "Uncle Th" McArthur wrote up comprehensive reports, complete with color pictures, that totaled over 100 pages containing every game of beirut played over break. From the statistics, it is clear that golf skill and beirut skill do not tend to overlap. As one increases, the other, as sad as it may be, declines. An inverse relationship per se, or whatever. This is especially clear in the cases of Matt Slovitt and Kevin Kellert, clearly the two best golfers on the team, and even more clearly, the two worst beirut partners on the team.
Coach Pohle appears to schedule the golf tee times so that the team's hangovers (and his own) wear off before the first ball is hit. Often playing at 1pm, and of course, ALWAYS with a cart, the team's golf is inconsistent, to say the least. In 2004, freshman Alex Mallory followed up a generous 115 at Hawk's Nest with a 69 two days later at Grand Harbor to win the alumni tournament.
More important than the actual golf rounds in 2005 were the pre-round putting matches. In perhaps the most epic golf match ever played on a putting green, Nick "Cup" Ryder made three straight 20-foot benders to beat Kevin Kellert 1-up on the 18th hole at Hawk's Nest, ensuring Kevin would not win the overall putting title. Ryder raced around the green to high-fiving teammates and old people alike after every made putt, and during the match said he wanted to make putts against Kevin more than he had ever wanted anything before. The victory improved Ryder's putting record to 2-7, but was by far the most impressive round of Ryder's year, easily trumping his collection of tournament 70's and 71's.
Some of the better courses hacked up by the team are "Not So" Grand Harbor's River course (nickname by Ned Wydysh '04...), Hawk's Nest, BallenIsles, PGA Golf Club's Dye course, The Fox Club, and the McArthur Club. The worst course played is certainly Sand Ridge - "off to Sand Crotch again," said Ned at the beginning of every Spring Break.
From each day's golf course, the team generally has gone directly to dinner at a variety of chain restaurants: TGIF, Applebee's, Outback Steakhouse, and the like. The greasy food and large Brutus beers provide a perfect start to most nights. One burgeoning tradition is to visit Bennigan's one time during break; Bennigan's offers the "Monte Cristo" - two deep fried ham, turkey, and cheese sandwiches served with powdered sugar and raspberry jam. Kevin Kellert, challenged by the team to do so, ordered and ate TWO orders of Monte Cristos in 2004. This feat won him five dollars from the waitress, who had never seen anything like it done before.
Housing on Spring Break has varied quite a bit in recent years. 2003 and 2004 were spent in one of the grossest Motel 6's in the world, where dogs ran wild, some rooms appeared to contain entire extended families, and a prostitute wanted to smoke up with Ned Wydysh and Bryan Harmon '04. In 2005, after getting kicked out of Motel 6 (maybe it was the plywood thrown in the pool, BH?), Rick Pohle hooked the team up with 2 condos overlooking the PGA Golf Club. It was paradise. Night golf on the par-3 course out back was common and more beirut was played than ever before. In 2006, it was a slight step down to a hotel setup -- neighboring guests in the hallway apparently kept wondering why the boys next door played so much ping-pong late at night...
The Olde Forge
Discovered" by Ned Wydysh for his birthday on Valentine's Day, 2003, going to The Forge quickly became a weekly staple for the golf team. As the 2003-2004 school year rolled around, senior captains Ned (3 beer cards) and BH (0 beer cards, only drinks Coors Light and Foster's) made going to the Forge at least as important as playing golf for members of the team.
The amazing wings and good beer fueled the team's mediocre play week in and week out. Ned, BH, Zach McArthur (3 beer cards), John Kildahl (4 beer cards), Matt "Philip" Slovitt (4 beer cards), and non-golfer Jon Russell '06 (2 beer cards) made up the core of the weekly group. As younger members of the team learned of this tradition, they became important participants, mostly as designated drivers. In particular, Brendan "Lapdog" Conley '08 (2 beer cards) served this role well, sacrificing gaining the freshman 15 (or 25) in exchange for wings every week. The year 2005 saw Irish Carbombs become a staple final drink during Forge visits. One magical night, Kurt Brumme, sitting at an adjacent table (with mostly Swim Team-ers), stealthily bought the entire golf table a round of bombs. Just about a year later, on May 4, 2006, Kevin Kellert demonstrated his leadership and commitment to the Williams Golf Team tradition by completing his first Irish Carbomb. It is this author's hope that the Forge remains alive in the Williams Golf family as long as possible.
The beginning of the love affair between the Williams Golf Team and the music of Bob Seger was when Will Sicks '03 and John Kildahl '06 picked up a Seger tape at a gas station on Spring Break 2003. Seger was the preferred music of that entire break at Motel 6, and by the end of it, the entire team knew the words to his Greatest Hits. Many CDs were burned, Seger was played at every golf event and car ride to and from the Forge, and every time you heard him you thought of Spring Break and a smile came to your face. Bob Seger has remained as a presence at all golf team social functions. "We've Got Tonight" will be played at many a golf teamer's wedding in the distant future.
At 7:30pm on January 27th, 2007, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band play a concert in Boston, MA. This is part of Bob's first tour since the early 1980s, and some believe the tour is in direct response to the Williams Men's Golf team writing letters and begging for a re-appearance on his fansite. Needless to say, many Eph golfers are attending and after four years of belting out Seger's Greatest Hits, they are as ready for this concert as anyone in the country. May God Bless Bob Seger for making dreams come true.
A mix put together by Bryan Harmon '04 and Matthew Slovitt '06 in Mission, 2003. The CD spread like wildfire around campus and until "Rap Classics: The Next Episode" surfaced, was THE party mix for the golf team. Jeff Lin '08 has perfected many a smooth dance move to the beats of Rap Classics, which is composed of the following songs:
"This is How We Do It" - Montell Jordan
"No Diggity" - Blackstreet
"Hits from the Bong" - Cypress Hill
"Jump Around" - Funkmaster Flex
"My Name Is" - Eminem
"Big Poppa" - Notorious B.I.G.
"The Whole World" - Outkast
"I Wish" - Skee-Lo
"Regulators" - Warren G
"Hypnotize" - Notorious B.I.G.
"Nuthin like a G Thang" - Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre
"Woo Hah" - Busta Rhymes
"Bone Thugs n Harmony" - The Crossroads
"Gangsta's Paradise" - Coolio
"Still D.R.E." - Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre
"Mo' Money Mo' Problems" - Mase, Puff, Notorious
"Gin and Juice" - Snoop Dogg
With not enough room to include every true Rap Classic on the original mix, BH and Slops made a second mix that proved as popular as the first. This CD was called "Rap Classics: The Next Episode" and includes:
"Lose Yourself" - Eminem
"It Wasn't Me" - Shaggy
"Up in Here" - DMX
"Forgot about Dre" - Dr. Dre and Eminem
"Break Ya Neck" - Busta Rhymes
"Juicy" - Notorious B.I.G.
"I Just Wanna Love You" - Jay-Z
"Magic Stick" - 50 Cent
"In Da Club" - 50 Cent
"Without Me" - Eminem
"Hey Ya" - Outkast
"Ride With Me" - Nelly
"Big Pimpin'" - Jay-Z
"Fantastic Voyage" - Coolio
"Perfect Gentleman" - Wyclef Jean
"Bitch Please II" - Eminem
"The Next Episode" - Dr. Dre
"Remix to Ignition" - R. Kelly
"Juicy" has arguably become the most popular Rap Classic, outshining the rest due to performances of it by Adam Blankenheimer '04 (a close friend of Ned, BH, and Mike D). A fairly short, white, Jewish kid, Adam regularly raps "Juicy" for the golf teamers with an intensity and passion that has made it the climax of the Rap Classics mix.
Halftime Putting Contest
At the halftime of the homecoming football game, the team gathers at (stumbles to) Taconic for a putting contest. Anyone not completely inebriated (Kevin, hrmph) should not participate. Recent winners have included Matt Slovitt in 2004, Brendan Conley in 2005, his decisive victory capping off a fantastic fall with the flatstick, and Kurt Brumme in 2006, making a 40-footer for the victory. Rahul Bahl may have won something that year, but it was not the official HPC.
Talking wasted with Coach Pohle is not required, though it seems to happen every year and ends poorly every time. "Enjoy the second half."
In 2004, Bryan Harmon '04 scored every regular season goal for the team, capping his incredible one-man show with a key late-game breakaway backhand goal over Choir goalie Dan Krass's shoulder to send the team into the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, Zach McArthur '05 took over, scoring every post-season goal, including an early-game rifle from the blue line that won the championship 1-0 over the very cheer-happy Fay 2 squad. Ned Wydysh '04 was a rock in goal, allowing but one regulation goal all year and stuffing Rugby time and again in an exciting semi-final playoff shootout.
As for 2005, despite losing Wydysh and Harmon, the team had a regular season probably unmatched in broomball history. With the new varsity women's golf team providing support, the bench was long, every game was a blowout, and even Kevin Kellert '07 scored a goal. However, Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy canceled the playoffs due to concerns that the ice was getting dirty from sneakers. It was a sad end to a dominant January on the ice.
In 2006, two new team members stepped up as rising stars to successfully defend the broomball crown. Tim Evans '06 and Matt Felser '09 took advantage of playing the regular season half-ice as the team went undefeated. In the playoffs, the team coasted through until the championship, when they had to play shorthanded the whole game, and with Kevin on the ice to boot! Despite basically playing 2-men down the entire contest, the golf team triumphed once again for their second straight playoff crown. This could not have been done, of course, without the help and amazing skills of newcomer, Stacey "a stud on the ice" Baradit. Gray T-shirts with a purple & gold argyle design on the front and "Kevin's always watching" on the back commemorate the golf team's broomball success.
In 2007 and 2008, the golf broomball team was led by Tyler Zara and Matt Felser, with help from young boyband frontrunner Kevin Coombs and netminder Keith Butts. With such an impressive first line, the Ephs went undefeated for two seasons and picked up new argyle t-shirts along the way.d
Quotes by Coach Rick Pohle
"so to speak"
"...be sure to replace your divots grass, green side up..."
"we've just got to concentrate on the carrot, or the candle at the end of the rainbow or whatever"
"or whatever... or per se"
"or whatever...or whatever"
Coach's email announcing the lineup for Little Threes, 2004: "Democracy is a great thing, but remember that GOLF is the game of kings (or was that chess). Our goal will be to crush the insubordinate tribe from the south in the most effective manner. I choose 3 swift frontal attacks from the Koller/Slovitt, Harmon/Wydysh and Kildahl/Brumme camps followed by a Chinese water torture display from Kellert/Sirignano (slow & painful)..........OZ"