Harwood soaks up knowledge on the golf course

MIHS sophomore sets a good example for teammates.

Alex Harwood feels that life lessons abound on the golf course and can translate off the greens and fairways and right into one’s daily routine.

With or without a club in hand, the crucial components of confidence, composure, strategizing, logic and more are available for maximum usage for Harwood and his fellow linksters.

The Mercer Island High School (MIHS) sophomore enters another season with the Islanders and said the squad is on a good trajectory after completing a handful of matches. They were 1-3 at press time, but have kept close with their opponents during each one of the nine-hole contests.

Harwood notched three second-place finishes, including a pair of one-under-par scores of 35 and 36.

Leading the way with experience and talent are seniors Elliott Hoang, Wonjoon Seo and Brian Murdoch along with junior Jack Besecker, said Harwood, who initially delved into the sport with his dad seven years ago and really clicked on the serious button by participating in tourneys and practicing more regularly at age 11 or 12.

“Alex brings a youthful energy to the team. He’s always itching to learn from his coaches and his teammates, and soaks up as much knowledge as he can,” said head coach Connor Coombs. “It’s helped him step up from being a back end varsity player last year, his freshman year, to a top three varsity player this year.”

Regarding what he’s been offering the squad following his inaugural MIHS season, Harwood noted: “I think part of it is taking on a leadership role for the freshmen, just setting a good example and a good work ethic and being focused during practice.”

Harwood is coming off a solid golfing summer that saw him notch third place at the Washington Junior Golf Association District 2 championship at Bellevue Golf Course, and finish in the top half of the standings at the US Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst Golf Course in North Carolina.

“I think the best part of my game is probably my iron play. I feel like if I can hit greens then I can score really well,” he said.

The Reporter asked Harwood a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

For me, it’s just like little things at home, in the kitchen, if you leave the microwave open or leave time on the microwave. Just little things that kind of annoy you a little bit, but they’re not a huge deal.

If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?

I’d probably have to choose a golfer, so one of the greats, obviously Tiger Woods would be nice. Someone like Jordan Spieth. I’ve been a Jordan Spieth fan for a while. He won a lot of tournaments when he was really young and I think that’s something that I could strive to do in my life, too.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

Probably just not worry about everything so much. Things are just going to happen and you don’t have to dwell on them. Things in the past, they can’t be changed, so you just got to move on with your life and not focus on them too much.

What’s a skill that you’d like to learn?

I’ve kind of always liked fishing, I guess. I haven’t fished that much. I think that would be fun to learn. Go out with some friends on a boat and just do some fishing.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

I really like Adam Sandler movies, so obviously, “Happy Gilmore,” which makes sense with the Adam Sandler and golfing. Also stuff like “Grown Ups.” I really like comedies, so just stuff with Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler, like (Ace Ventura) “Pet Detective” or something like that.

What’s a superpower you’d like to have?

Mind reading. I think that could be very useful in a lot of situations. You’re having a conversation with someone and you don’t know if they’re telling the truth and you kind of want to know, and you can figure out how genuine a person is.