On winning at golf, and losing a father

On winning at golf, and losing a father

Photo contributed by GoshenCommons.org

By Sammy Rosario

Contributing Writer

Ben John Pollitt, a golfer from England, is a sophomore at Goshen College. He was the lone golfer on the men’s team a year ago when intercollegiate golf returned to Goshen College. He described his best athletic moment as “winning a matchplay tournament at my club after giving my opponent 28 shots in 18 holes.”

Q: What brings you to Goshen College?

A: I went through a company that tries to find you a sports scholarship and Goshen was one of the colleges that offer one. The coach was very forthcoming, I could ask him any question and he would answer almost immediately, when other schools took weeks to answer.

Q: What are some differences that you have observed between America and England?

A: The sense of community. People are a lot friendlier than they are back home. Another weird thing for me is that in America you can turn on a red light, when in England you need to stop… you can’t do that.

Q: Do you think your accent has opened doors here in America in any way?

A: I guess it has given me more leeway with professors. Like, if I am late with something they don’t give me as big of a punishment.

Q: What is one thing that you cherish the most about England?

A: My little sister. I had to be a father for her, because we lost our dad a couple of years ago. She is always saying when is “my Ben” coming home, instead of “When’s Ben coming home?”

Q: How did your father pass away?

A: Motorcycle accident, when I was 18 years old.

Q: What are some things that you miss the most about your father?

A: He was my guiding light. When he was alive, before I did something I would ask myself “Will my dad do this?” Now, I just go ahead and do things that sometimes I regret.

Q: What things do you regret?

A: Right now? Smoking. That’s probably my only one. I feel like I disappoint my dad every time I do it.

Q: What is the last thing that you remember your dad saying?

A: That’s awkward, because the last conversation that I had with him was an argument about money. The day that he died I was supposed to buy my mom a birthday present. I only had 20 pounds left and he was disappointed about that. So he said: “I am going to leave before I say something that I regret.” Afterwards, I waited for him to come home but he never did. I play this argument over and over again in my head.

Q: What are some things that you had to do after your father died that you didn’t before?

A: I guess house chores. I became the man of the house. I basically did anything that my dad did, like cooking.

Q: What do you like to cook?

A: Indian curry, because it was my dad’s favorite thing to cook. My dad and I had a competition of who made the hottest curry; sometimes it got really out of hand.

Q: What’s your goal in life?

A: I want to be a professional golf player; I know that’s what my dad wanted me to do. As long as I have a job that I can support my family with I will be happy.

Q: What inspires you to play golf?

A: My dad. When I was little, Soccer was the sport that I was always playing; I even wanted to play soccer professionally. One day, my dad invited me to play golf with him and I fell in love with it. It is something that I always used to do with my dad. So every time I play golf or I am on a golf course I feel closest to my dad because this is something he started me doing.

Q: What do you think before hitting the ball when you are playing golf? What goes through your mind?

A: My dad always told me that you need to have a pre-shot routine. If it becomes a routine, it becomes a habit, and then nothing else will distract you. That’s what I think before hitting the ball.

Q: What terrifies you the most?

A: Ironically, success. I guess I am a walking contradiction.

Q: What was your father’s biggest dream?

A: He told me once when I was 17, that he has realized all his dreams apart from one, to see me live my dream.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Becca Kraybill
Written by Becca Kraybill

Becca Kraybill is the fall Editor-in-Chief of The Record. She is a fourth-year English Writing major and enjoys waving to babies in the grocery store.

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