Laura Hamlin Weiler '00, Head of Community Engagement
For state golfer of the year Garrett Kuhla ’22, trust built with teammates on the golf course translates to leadership in the classroom.
Garrett Kuhla '22 came into the 2019 golf season with a goal. He displayed poise and consistency far beyond his years to reach that goal, being named the VISAA state golfer of the year. Kuhla, then a freshman, was the inaugural winner of this title in its new format. The format utilizes cumulative scoring throughout the entire season. Previously the award was given to whomever shot the lowest single round at the state tournament match.
Kuhla credits much of his success to the experience he gained as an 8th grader at Trinity, playing with older teammates and learning the courses and the format of high school matches. He also says that playing in a team setting is more meaningful than playing solo, “For me, to be able to play with the team and such a great group of friends, it makes golf a lot more fun with those teammates and the coaches around you.”
He also took more confidence from the support he felt on campus from teachers to peers. “I love the positive announcements in Morning Meeting and when teachers talk to me about our team.” Kuhla says Mr. Bell, the lead teacher of the Green class for freshmen, offered support to keep him focused in the classroom while also delivering lessons about life outside of the game. “Knowing that people care and how supportive my teachers have been has meant so much to me.”
Kuhla put in plenty of work both in the offseason and during the spring season. He works with swing coach Mike Hott and received a hitting net for Christmas that allowed him to practice throughout the winter. “I can take videos of my swing and work on it, and I could still practice even in the worst weather. I also used it after matches when I was dissatisfied or even before matches to relax.”
Kuhla acknowledges that the mental aspect of the game is critical to success. He engages in deep breathing before and throughout his rounds. Most importantly for him is confidence and the ability to trust himself. “Confidence comes from experience and playing in challenging environments, learning from older players around me and watching them go on to college. Trust is so crucial. You have to trust yourself that you can do it. Seeing others do that and succeed inspires me.”
Kuhla gained significant confidence this season after shooting a 32 in a match (4 under par) at Trinity’s home course, Salisbury Country Club, against Prep League rival St. Christopher’s. This was a record low for Kuhla in high school golf and helped propel his team to victory. “This year was a year of milestones and I kept building on my confidence in each match.”
He will carry that confidence into his sophomore year, where he is serving as class president and also looking to continue to build Trinity’s golf program. “I am excited for the challenge of being class president. Some of the skills from the golf course relate to leadership. In golf, the team score matters as much as individual score (when playing with a team), and in leadership you have to keep people accountable and encourage them so that we can maximize our potential.”
Kuhla is proud of all that the team accomplished this year as well as his own accolades, and he is committed to continual hard work to maximize his own potential. It will certainly be exciting to see what the future brings to this rising star.
Connections is a regular online column, written from the first-person perspective of Laura Hamlin Weiler ’00, Head of Community Engagement:
In this space, I have the privilege of sharing stories of Trinity students, alumni, and faculty and staff who are carrying our mission beyond the boundaries of campus. Many of these stories might not make the headlines, but they will illustrate how every member of the Trinity community has a unique path to discover, and the ability to make an impact on both the Trinity community and the world beyond.
I am fortunate to have been a part of this community since my own adolescence. I have been a student, a teacher, a coach, and an administrator, and in these roles I have witnessed the school’s growth and evolution through the years. We have grown in size as well as spirit.
Stories here will capture how seeds planted at Trinity have taken root and flourished into full-grown passions. You’ll also read stories of those in our community who bring their gifts from outside to help us learn. At Trinity, we seek to develop lifelong learners, and stories here will illustrate real-life examples of that beautiful symbiosis.