Keeping GCC on course

Sophomore Brennan Amirkhizi's calm demeanor and depth of experience lead young squad

May 08, 2011|By Charles Rich,

Playing on his home course of fabled Oakmont Country Club, Brennan Amirkhizi realized that golf isn't a perfect game.

With that in mind, Amirkhizi needed to keep his emotions in check while tackling the nuances of the renovated course during a Western State Conference match April 18. In the span of a few hours, Amirkhizi's frustration turned into elation.

Amirkhizi, a member of the Glendale Community College men's golf team, stepped to the first tee and struck the ball out of bounds for a two-stroke penalty. For a while, the breaks weren't going Amirkhizi's way.


That changed in a hurry for Amirkhizi, who carded a four-under-par 71 to earn medalist honors and help the Vaqueros win the match by three strokes over traditional state powerhouse College of the Canyons.

"The crowd was so silent that I could practically hear the grass growing," said Amirkhizi, a sophomore. "I had two options after that shot: I could have folded or I could have kept going.

"I've experienced bad shots like that before, but those experiences can help you get back into it. I realized I still had 17 holes left. It would be a large thought process."

Amirkhizi shot a five-under-par 31 on the front nine. He finished his 18-hole round with eight birdies, six pars and four bogeys.

Talk about making a smooth recovery.

"Golf isn't a perfect game," said Amirkhizi, who guided the Vaqueros to a second-place finish in conference and a trip to the Southern California Regionals, which will be held Monday at Bermuda Dunes Country Club. "I just grabbed another ball and teed off.

"I stuck to my game plan that I outlined for each hole. Everything just seemed to click from that point on."

At the conference finals at Los Serranos Country Club's South Course in Chino Hills on April 25, Amirkhizi, a Taft High graduate, finished with a two-round score of 148 to finish sixth and achieve all-conference accolades for the second season.

Even Glendale college Coach Greg Osbourne noticed a difference in Amirkhizi's mindset.

"When I met him when he was at Taft, he was so emotional," said Osbourne, who also coaches the college's women's team and is a PGA pro and the head pro at Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale. "It's about his state of maturity right now.

"When he hit that ball out of bounds at Oakmont, he bounced back. He didn't sulk. He didn't blow up, so that's a good sign."

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