The Boys' Latin Golf Team

Better Men Through Better Golf

Golf Team Website

About Boys' Latin Golf

Boys’ Latin Golf Team
Program Summary


“Beyond the buildings, Boys’ Latin is a program, a curriculum of academics, athletics, and activities designed to prepare our students, not just for college, but for life. From kindergarten through twelfth grade, we nurture our young men, teaching them how to think for themselves, to be accountable for their actions, and to be responsible for their learning. The concepts of self-reliance, responsibility, and accountability are reinforced in the classroom, on the playing fields, and in the arts. The small class sizes foster strong relationships between faculty and students, and enable thoughtful discourse and intellectual rigor."                                                     

    - Taken from “Who We Are”



Founded in 1844, Boys’ Latin is the oldest non-sectarian school for boys in the state, and currently enrolls over six hundred students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.  Boys’ Latin remains highly respected for its placement among Maryland’s most storied private education institutions.

The coaching mantra has remained constant over the past five years – Better Men through Better Golf.  Improving the character of an individual is rooted in anchoring their heart in appreciation, their spirit in selflessness, their mind in discernment, and their actions in intention.  In order to do so, a point of leverage must be identified and utilized.  In this case, the vehicle for impact is the game of Golf.

Value System

The core convictions of the team dictate that hard work is valued over achievement.  Such a value system removes pressure to achieve and replaces it with a demand to do one’s best.  Therefore, a trophy is less important than the effort behind winning it.  Studies have indicated that teenagers who are aligned with this value system have a higher level of self-confidence, leadership ability, and social acceptance – as well as a lower incidence of depression, dishonesty, and suicide.

 The nature of this value system leverages individual accountability.  With this accountability comes greater ownership of team role and placement – and therefore a vested interest in the collective growth and development of the team itself.

Game Development 

Since the Program was introduced in 2004, varsity team members have achieved an average decrease in scoring average from season inception to season completion of 11 strokes (2004: 9 strokes; 2005: 11 strokes; 2006: 16 strokes; 2007: 8 strokes). 

The cornerstone of this improvement is discipline.  Team members are held accountable to participate in the ongoing disciplines of the program – which includes experiences that are segmented into three time tables:  pre-season, in-season, and off-season. 

The pre-season period runs from the second week of January through the last week of February.  This time finds the team engaged in fitness disciplines on Tuesdays and Thursdays, critical thinking and course management strategy sessions within a classroom environment on Wednesdays, and swing development through computer swing analysis at Baltimore Country Club’s indoor hitting loft on Fridays.

The in-season period runs from the first week of March through the third week of May.  This time finds the team balancing matches, individual tournaments and team practices five days a week – with periodic optional practices and events held during weekends.

The off-season period runs from the last week in May through the first week of January (of the following year).  This time finds the team connecting through special events including the Summer Camp and (soon-to-be-announced) Fall Trip to Saucon Valley Country Club.  Periodic small group clinics are held, and individual mentoring offered.  The team was able to secure employment opportunities with Baltimore Country Club in 2007, and team members are offered the ability to caddy and work outside operations during the Summer, while also working the Constellation Senior Players Championship in the Fall.  Significant planning on the part of the coaching staff occurs in the off-season which has historically included website development, special event planning, strategic relationship management, recruiting, and program promotion. 

The Golf Program relies on quantifiable data to support its game improvement disciplines – as well as underline its achievements.  Team Members learn the value of statistics and record-keeping to lower scoring.  Fairways Hit, Greens Hit, Up & Down Attempts, and Number of Putts are statistics that are kept throughout the season – along with, of course, Score.  Averages are maintained throughout the season, and team members are charged with improving their categorical percentages over their final score.  In the end, by intentionally focusing on their categorical percentages, the resulting scoring average reflects marked improvement.  The lesson inherent to statistics as a golf game improvement discipline is one that has broader life implications: In Golf as in Life, attention to finer details tends to improve the broader picture 

Additional quantifiable data is communicated to team members through swing development learning.  The team utilizes both the V-1 System and the Science & Motion Putting Lab as computer analysis tools – two vehicles that consistently align well with the visual learning styles of team members.  Data is produced through analysis of various key measurements; which provides team members with firm feedback and definable corollaries between instruction and execution.  Additionally, team members are video-taped during competitive scrimmages (practice matches) – with footage reviewed following completion of the match in order to analyze their competitive behavior and on-course decision-making.

Broader Community Growth 

Although organic growth (development anchored within the direct membership base) is essential for collective advancement, broader expansion of the associated community remains a necessary compliment to ideal program expansion. 

Commitment to advancing the broader community is anchored in two key categories: brand awareness and strategic relationships. 

Brand Awareness leverages the vehicle of the world wide web to create a broader public understanding of our team and our messages.  During the 2006 and 2007 seasons, the team utilized a weblog (“blog”) platform for such purposes.  However, in the third quarter of 2007 a domain name was purchased and a new website designed and launched.  Its web address is  The site includes a schedule of events, instructional articles, coach’s corner, video swing archive, special announcements, and a link to the old blog site for archived information of past team experiences.  A web designer does not control the content of the site – every sentence contained in its pages is inputted by Coach Champion.  The broader viewing community has expanded significantly since launching the website.  In fact, since November 28, 2007, more than sixty thousand hits have been logged at   

Strategic relationships are necessary in order offer high quality products and experiences to our team membership at affordable pricing. Industry contacts have been extremely supportive through critical partnerships.  A full list of sponsors and supporters is posted to the website, including (though not limited to):  Taylor Made, Adidas, Robert Bryan Ltd, Joseph A. Bank, Titleist Golf Equipment, Zerio Restriction, The Booklegger, Golf Around The World, The PGA of America, The USGA, Bald Head Island Golf Course, Clinton Country Club, Baltimore Country Club, The Suburban Club of Baltimore County, Caves Valley Golf Club, and The Penn State Golf Courses.

Camaraderie & Group Cohesion 

Camaraderie is essential to group development; and the Boys’ Latin Golf Program is committed to providing unique and impacting events to promote and development group cohesion.  These include the following: 

Spring Break Trip: 

Since 2005 the Team has traveled annually to Bald Head Island, North Carolina for a four day trip over the school’s Spring Break period.  Bald Head Island provides a unique environment for the Team; and the popularity of the location has certainly helped to fuel the enthusiasm of team members.  The team travels by private motor coach for the eight hour journey from Baltimore – and during such time study competitive on-course scenarios from PGA Tour Event footage (i.e. Ryder Cup Matches, PGA Championship, Masters Tournament) that is played via an on-board DVD system. Once at Bald Head Island, Team Members are introduced to their accommodations: a four-thousand square foot, ocean-front beach house, with direct beach access, private gazebo, and wrap-around porch.  In the days that follow, team members play fifty-four holes of golf, engage in four hours of comprehensive swing development practice, watch golf-specific movies (The Greatest Game Ever Played is a favorite) and have bunker shot competitions on the beach.  What’s more, a team discussion session is held each evening focusing on Measurements of Manhood.  These sessions focus on such life topics as: Facing Drugs & Alcohol, Sexual Temptation, Stewardship, and Making a Difference in the Lives of Others.  Negotiated rates and the generosity of Ron Thomason, PGA Head Professional at Bald Head Island have made the trip both justifiable and affordable for team members.  However, to the extent that the per person price is cost-prohibitive, the Boys’ Latin School has agreed to provide financial aid so that attendance is assured. 

Penn State PGM Visitation

In April 2008, the Team participated in the first annual Penn State PGM Visitation.  This event found the team receiving a tour of Penn State’s general campus, as well as a private tour of the Professional Golf Management Program facility.  Lunch was provided following the Tour, and the Team subsequently played golf at the Penn State Blue Course.  Dinner was served after golf, the team stayed the night at Toftrees Resort, and then traveled the next morning to play golf at Clinton Country Club in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania – before returning to Baltimore that evening.  This event leveraged the game of Golf in exposing team members to a university setting in a comfortable and non-intimidating manner.  Additionally, it yielded continued development in the arena of group cohesion; while also promoting the Professional Golf Management major to a potential candidate pool.  As was the case with the Spring Break Trip, financial aid was available for the Penn State PGM Visitation. 

Summer Golf Camp

The Golf Program has offered a Summer Camp since 2006.  Over a three day period, team members participate in a series of instructional clinics focusing on specialty shots, short game, and full-swing development.  Additionally, individual learning sessions are conducted – which find participants learning through the V-1 Computer Swing Analysis System.  Food and Beverage is served, and all participants receive a tee gift for participating.  One hundred percent of the proceeds for the Summer Camp are deposited into the operating funds of the Golf Program – coaches have committed to sacrifice personal financial profit for the betterment of the program.  Additionally, financial aid remains available for Summer Golf Camp participation.  

End of the Season Team Party

Since 2005, an end of the Season Team Party has been hosted at Coach Champion’s house for all team members and their parents.  This event finds the coaching staff, parents, and team members uniting over hot dogs, hamburgers, and lawn games.  It also provides an outlet for a special awards ceremony that is hosted to recognize many of the accomplishments of team members throughout the season.   

Individual Mentoring & Support

Throughout the year, the coaching staff holds itself out as a resource for team members – on and off the golf course.  If a team member wants to talk about a swing struggle or a life struggle, coaches make themselves available to assist.  In the past, coaches have mentored team members through drug and alcohol peer pressure situations, disconnects with parents, girlfriend challenges, friendship issues, divorce struggles, and the loss of loved ones.  Although these conversations and associated interactions tend to be the most weighted and challenging, they never cease to be the most rewarding. 

Club Fitting Sessions

The team has aligned with Caves Valley Golf Club to receive access to the Titleist Performance Club Fitting System.  Director of Instruction John Bierken (previously John Webster) provides individual custom fitting sessions to team members throughout the in-season and off-season time periods. 

Coaches Guidance

Coach Champion remains committed to developing coaches that support and encourage in their efforts to impact the lives of others.  The goal with each coach serving in the Boys’ Latin Golf Program is to equip them with the resources necessary to incept and develop other such authentic programs elsewhere – to make Better Men Through Better Golf a mantra beyond the borders of The Boys’ Latin School.   

Miscellaneous Events

Other team building events have been held that develop group cohesion – and though not billed as “annual events” these periodic (and sometimes impromptu) experiences have yielded sizable development and camaraderie for the team.  These events have included: team bowling night, team dinners, team movie night, and team attendance at other school sporting events.

Home Course Privileges 

The Team aligns with The Suburban Club as its home golf course.  PGA Head Professional Mark Helfferich and the membership at Suburban are adamant in their support of junior golf – and grant Boys’ Latin ongoing access to the course and the practice facility.  The Team is taught to view such relationships as a privilege rather than a right – and is held accountable to communicate ongoing words and actions of appreciation to the staff and membership throughout the season. 

A Gentleman’s Game 

Golf is truly a game for gentlemen; and the Boys’ Latin Golf Program remains firm in its commitment to qualify this reality to team members.  This means offering ongoing education relative to competitive etiquette, manners, ethics and other standards of the game.  However it also means lessons in a few other important, though less traditional, facets including:

 Vocal Presentation

Team members learn that how they talk matters in representing themselves as gentlemen.  They learn that diction, sentence structure, and annunciation in their speech may in fact change from one social encounter to another.  Therefore, they begin to understand that conversational tone, articulation, and verbiage can and should be modified based on their surroundings (i.e. home, school, and work)

 Clothing Presentation

Team members also learn that how they dress matters in representing themselves as gentlemen.  They learn how to iron their pants, color coordinate their shirts and slacks, align their placket with their belt buckle, and wear their hat straight.  In doing so, they come to understand that although it’s most important to have a good heart, reflecting pride in professional dress remains essential to proper self presentation.

 Personal Grooming

Additionally team members learn that personal grooming matters in representing themselves as gentlemen.  They learn that deodorant becomes necessary as their body develops into adulthood, that brushing their teeth is critical to proper hygiene and that a properly-maintained hairstyle reflects respect for themselves and others.  In 2008, team members participated in the first annual Team Haircut Day.  This event found team members traveling to a “salon for men” for an afternoon of pizza, ice cream, soda, movies…and a haircut.  The event permitted individual interaction between team members and stylists who discussed with them how to properly care for and present their hair.  While no mandate of hair style is made on the Team, a mandate in present-ability is in place.  

While the details listed in these three categories may seem somewhat humorous upon initial consideration, the reality is that they are very real life lessons that are necessary to be understood by today’s teenage boys.  While proper parenting no doubt yields a great deal of such communication, reinforcement and further explanation from the coaching staff drives the associated points home in the minds of team members.  Once again, the game of Golf serves as a vehicle for broader individual impact 

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