Sunday, September 15, 2019

A conversation with golfer Jack Palley

Will Walthall ’14

Malcolm Lloyd ’14

Sports Editors 

The first thing that strikes you when you meet Jack Palley is his relaxed demeanor. It is just this quality that has allowed the senior tri-captain to find success on the links year after year. He earned the honor of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year in 2011 and has been a centerpiece of Bantam golf since he first arrived at Trinity. We caught up with Jack this weekend for a recap of the Trinity men’s golf team’s season.

Two weeks ago Palley and his teammates won the NESCAC qualifying tournament, sealing home course advantage for the NESCAC championship this spring. “Most other sports you are playing an opponent. In golf it is just you and the course.” Palley emphasized the importance of playing a familiar course, especially in such a high stakes tournament. “NESCACs is so much more important to our team than any other tournament we play throughout the year.” The winner of the NESCAC spring tournament not only earns bragging rights but also reserves a spot in the NCAA Golf Championships.

After playing three years of golf for Trinity, Palley is more than familiar with his NESCAC rivals. “I’ve played with all five starters on the Williams team and the Middlebury team. You play five rounds with someone, you get to know them.” Despite his familiarity with his opponents, Palley insists that the only person who can beat you on the course is yourself. Though Palley has had a terrific season thus far, his teammate Greg Palmer ’15 has followed in the senior tri-captain’s footsteps, earning NESCAC Player of the Year following the Bantams’ dominant performance in the NESCAC Qualifying Tournament. Palley spoke highly of Palmer saying, “he is truly the best player in the NESCAC this year.” Jack has only good things to say of his teammates’ play. “We shot even par on the second day of the tournament and won by seventeen strokes. It’s rare that a team shoots such a low score.”

Considering that Palley is so close with his teammates, it’s only fitting that he’s maintained a strong relationship with head Coach Bill Detrick. The former NESCAC Player of the Year recalled the conversation with coach Detrick that swayed him to come to Trinity four years ago. “He (Detrick) told me ‘I’m not going to try to make you a better golfer, I’m going to make you a better person.’”

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