A loophole to a hole in one

Headshot of Coach Westling | Bradley Hoiseth

Coach Wayne Westling sat down in his office to talk about his life and the golf team.

Sports have always been a big part of Coach Wayne Westling’s life. In college he injured his knee while playing football, leading to some physical weakness, so he knew he had to make some changes. And those changes led him to coach golf and surfing.

“I didn’t get hurt too badly at surfing, and surfing and golf can be lifetime sports as long as you want,” said Westling.  “I know 80-year-olds that surf and 90-year-olds that play golf so that appealed to me rather than the more traditional sports that I had played before.”

We all need to make adjustments to improve our lives, especially at an older age. Exercise in any form has beneficial qualities yet not everyone has the time or strength for it. Westling has realized his limits, which is part of why he momentarily retired from 2012 to 2015.

“I wasn’t interested in retiring, but they gave teachers that year an incentive to retire, so about 160 teachers retired from Capo that year,” said Westling.

Then an opportunity arose in Saddleback when all of the coaches had left from golf to football, which got him back into coaching in 2015. 

His men’s golf team has done well this semester with their first two tournaments ending in first place. The rain has caused some difficulty, but they have managed to stay strong in their practice.

Westling’s approach to coaching is based strongly on positive reinforcement as he recognizes the difficulty in the game despite how seemingly simplistic it may be.

“You can be playing well then have one bad hole which can really devastate the guys,” said Westling. “So we just try to stay positive, and work really hard on putting”.

He looked back on his days in college and the harsh nature of his coach deciding he wanted to do something different. There are still other values in this coach’s teaching that he still took on in his organization. It’s thanks to him he learned about the importance of positive reinforcement.

Westling feels lucky to be here at Saddleback and hopes that his students as well as others realize the value of perseverance. There are lifelong friends you can make in golf as it is something you can continue with through life. So the question is posed: why not try and give yourself a chance at trying golf or any other activity in order to lead a fulfilling life?