Monday was a big step in the golf career of 13-year-old Westwood native Gunther Guleserian. The Blue Hill Country Club member took part in his third Massachusetts Young Golfers’ Amateur hosted at Reservation Golf Club in Mattapoisett.
Guleserian beat out Matthew Oliveira (Allendale Country Club) and Aarav Lavu (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association entry) by three points in the Stableford scoring event, logging 34 points on 72 strokes.
“I spent a good amount of time preparing for the tournament; really wanted to give myself a chance to win,” Guleserian said. “After I birdied the first hole… I tried to keep doing great on the rest of the holes.”
Despite only shooting 3 over par on the day, Reservation Golf Club managed to challenge the young champion at various points throughout the tournament.
“Holes 5, 9, and 18 were pretty difficult because of the road,” Guleserian said. “You really had to make sure your tee shot was straight because out of bounds is right and left out of the fairway.”
Even though Guleserian was the biggest winner of all at Monday’s event, it was yet another big day for Mass Golf.
Although things were delayed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Mass Golf was ready to follow through with events in the middle of June once the government gave courses the green light.
“That kicked off our year from a competitive golf standpoint, and just looked a little bit different,” Mass Golf CEO and Executive Director Jesse Menachem said. “You know, we had to prepare a little bit differently and go to the ‘nth’ degree to make sure players and volunteers and club personnel were staying safe and then all the state guidelines were being followed.
“From an event standpoint, (the numbers) have been either similar or better. We’re seeing just a ton of growth, a ton of interest in day-to-day play. Our courses are seeing a pretty healthy surge, and for us with score posting the last few months have been impressive. And that’s a trend we’re seeing all over the country.
Mass Golf has used Reservation in the past and indicates it will continue to do so.
“We’ve had a couple of events here — I think one-day qualifiers in the last two years, but this is a great championship to bring here,” Menachem said. “The facility, the community here. Everybody embraces it, and they want to show off what they’ve done.”
Club president Rich Daprato wasn’t looking to display his staff’s hard work with this event, but it was a chance to show off what it can do because of business maneuvers made early in the coronavirus shutdown and thanks to the club’s loyal community that showed faith in Daprato and other decision-makers.
“The Reservation membership deserves all of the credit for keeping us afloat. That’s a fact,” Daprato said. “Now, the board of directors and some of our managers, we’ve worked hard, as well. But the credit should really go to the membership because they could’ve made this difficult.”
Reservation Golf Club’s membership has even grown a bit since the commonwealth permitted the play of golf again. Although the course is not allowed to fill its dining area to full capacity — same as any restaurant in the state — the course is regularly filled with players and signs point to more of the same, whether it’s casual play or events like the Massachusetts Young Golfers’ Amateur.
By Nick Friar