By Joshua Boyd
It's always encouraging in golf when every time you compete, your score goes down.
So, if you're Ipswich's Jack Maino, you can't help but be encouraged with how your collegiate golf career is going. Maino is between freshman and sophomore years at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vt. It took him a few months to break into the varsity five, but by the spring portion of the season in April, he was a lineup staple for the Purple Knights.
Maino's 2018 season ended at the Penmen Invitational, hosted by Southern New Hampshire University on April 22. There, he shot a 78 over 18 holes at Concord, N.H.'s Beaver Meadow Golf Course, a career best to cap his freshman year. He started his college career just 10 days earlier with a 99, and progressively brought his score down each time over six rounds.
The Chronicle caught up with him to get his thoughts on being a collegiate student-athlete.
What do you think overall of being a member of Saint Michael's College golf?
It's nice being a part of a team, and it's great to be able to continue to play competitive golf. It's more serious than it was in high school, but the guys all push each other to get better. It's a good environment to play in and to work hard to put up the best scores we can in tournaments.
What made you decide to attend/play golf for Saint Michael's when you were looking at colleges?
Golf was never my top priority in choosing a school. I was fortunate to receive the Saint Michael's book award, which put the school on my radar, and also made it financially feasible for my family.
I really liked the feel of St. Mike's and I loved the Burlington area as well. But the fact that I was going to be able to play for the golf team definitely made my decision easy when it came to choosing St. Mike's.
Were you recruited to be on the team, or did you just attend tryouts in the fall? If you were recruited, when did that start?
Recruiting isn't a big thing in college golf until you get to the top Division 1 programs. But when I found St. Mike's, a Division 2 school, I reached out to the coach with some of my golfing stats and told him about my interest in the program. Thankfully, he thought I would be a good addition to the team. I still had to do a one-day tryout, which worked out well.
If there are positions in college golf, do you have a position on the depth chart for the team - as in high school, where players play 1-8?
We had eight guys on the team last year. The top five played in tournaments. That top five would change depending on who was playing the best in practice, so that coach could send the best five guys to the tournament.
I struggled a bit during the fall, and wasn't able to work my way into the lineup. But I was able to play in the fifth spot for our three spring tournaments.
You lowered your scores in each of your final five rounds this year. What was working well for you in that stretch, including in your career-best 78 round at the Penmen Invitational?
In the first round of my first college tournament in Syracuse, N.Y., I played some of the worst golf of my life. So after that, it was a real mental struggle to be able to put up better scores in the following events.
But I was able to put that day behind me, stay positive, and better my score in each of my final five rounds. I felt that I was able to play some pretty good golf during that last tournament round at the Penmen Invitational.
What is your strength in golf, and what are you paying more attention working on this summer?
My short game has always been the best part of my game. I am normally able to save some shots around the greens, and put up OK scores despite not hitting the ball well. This summer, I'm focusing on trying to get some of the long-term bad habits out of my swing that have always given me problems in the past.
How are studies going at Saint Michael's? What's your major and top academic interest right now?
I am a Business Major and will do a double minor in Economics and Spanish. I did very well in my classes during my first year, and am pleased that I was able to balance academics with being on the golf team, while having fun with new friends.