Section: Sports

Golf’s interim coach Brody Harwell exclusive interview

Golf’s interim coach Brody Harwell exclusive interview

Brody Harwell prepares golf for playoffs. | COURTESY OF KENYON ATHLETICS

Brody Harwell was appointed the interim golf coach for Kenyon after Grant Wallace received parental leave for the golf season. Harwell is also an assistant golf coach at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

What is your role on the team? Do you plan to pursue a permanent golf coaching position at Kenyon?

Interim Golf Coach is my position title. This is temporary. I have talked with Grant [Wallace] about being an assistant coach here at Kenyon after the interim position, but Kenyon has no official position for assistant golf coach at this time.

How has your experience at Kenyon been?

This has been an amazing opportunity and I’m very thankful to be here at Kenyon. My experience has been incredible. Kenyon is top notch. The administration and staff have been absolutely wonderful.  I’m learning how to operate a successful program, which is helping me grow as a golf coach. Everything has happened really fast, and I can’t believe that it’s more than halfway over.

How have you coped with the added pressure of coaching a nationally ranked top 15 team?

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little bit of pressure (more so before the season started).  I always have followed Kenyon to see how they’re doing in tournaments, so I knew they had a really good year last year. Most of the guys returned this year, and I know their goal is to get to the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament in May as a team after missing out last year. It also makes it a little easier to be more relaxed when you have a good team. These guys are motivated to get better each day, which is exciting. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what rank we are. We need to stay hungry to get better and put the work in each and every day. If we keep working hard we will be where we want to be at the end of the year.

What has impressed you most with the team so far? What do you feel needs the most work?

I’m really impressed with how much these guys are actually a team. They know when to laugh and joke and when to be serious and focused. These guys have taken ownership of themselves and their teammates to become better players. As a team, we have to eliminate penalty shots, mostly off the tee box. We need to work on course management issues and on sharpening up ball striking to help us commit to tough golf shots. This team has the potential to make it back to Keene Trace for the NCAA in May. I love this quote from J.J. Watt, “Success isn’t owned, it’s leased and rent is due every day.”

What coaching styles and techniques do you bring to the team?

I bring a “democratic” coaching style to the team. I like to involve the players and give them a voice to hear their opinions on different topics and ideas. As a golf coach, I’m more of a mental coach to the players, trying to keep them in the right mindset to perform at their best. I also try to instill as much confidence as I can. There are a few practice strategies that I used at MVNU that could help the team: playing a short course to work on wedges and short game, and playing with irons only to make them hit more mid-to-long irons off the tees and on to greens.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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