By, Joselyn Garcia
No one has a lower scorethan junior Daniel Peterson. That is the goal of golf.
Transferring from MAST Academy after his freshmen year, Peterson has been a boost to the Beach High golf team. His impressive play as the team number one starter has led the team to a 7-1 record this year, earning a trip to district play. At Districts, Peterson shot a 79, indicating the number of shots taken to get his ball in all 18 holes, and placed fifth individually out of over thirty golfers. His score also helped Beach place third as a team to advance to Regional competition.
“I was okay by tying for fifth place but I know I could have done better,” he said. “Next time I am determined to win.”
Peterson’s role model is Beach High teacher and golf coach, Michael Perez. “I think he is a great coach; he’s always telling us how to get better and gives us good tips, and he’s really good with the mental game,” Peterson explained. “He tells us that if we hit a bad shot to not worry about it and to go on to the next hole. He’s really atient and does not get mad at us.” Coach Perez has been instructing Daniel for two years, but has been the team’s coach for almost ten.
Not only is Peterson the team’s most proficient player, he is also the team’s emotional leader. Teammate David Reinfeld, a junior, is motivated by Peterson’s determination and humor. “He is always determined to get the lowest score. He’s a funny guy, jokes around a lot,” said Reinfeld. Peterson first gained an interest in golf at the age of six, the time when most kids were first learning how to ride a bike. “My dad took me out to the golf course and he showed me how to hit the ball,” he said.
Peterson’s favorite golfer is PGA pro, David Toms. “He’s the underdog and has always done well. No one expected him to win much but he’s just a great player,” Peterson explained. Toms has inspired Peterson to persevere and try his best.
“Everyone thinks [golf] is a boring sport, or some people don’t even consider it a sport – but if you practice and you’re good at it, it’s so much fun,” said Peterson. “It’s the best feeling to have a low score.”