Alex Pomerantz is a Sophomore on the Varsity Golf Team. In this Brother Spotlight he talks about his experiences golfing and in SigEp and how the complement each other.
Although it seems to many that a fraternity, or “frat” as many people would say, doesn’t strive beyond drinking and partying, SigEp Penn Theta strives to break this social paradigm. From booth to buggy to intramural sports and athletics, SigEp is the epitome of balanced men. On the athletics side, three brothers participate on the golf team including myself, four brothers are members of the tennis team, and one is a member of the football team. Countless others are members of club teams and our fraternity’s intramural teams. Golf at Carnegie Mellon has become a big part of my life. Just this past year, CMU golf won the national title in division III athletics for the highest cumulative team GPA, an outstanding achievement.
For me, golf is more than a sport; it is something I turn to in happiness and sorrow. I began playing golf at the age of 13, with little desire to stray from my passion at the time, soccer. It was on the way back from a soccer tournament, ironically, that I first went to a driving range. After a few minutes, I began to figure the sport was not for me, but then a crazy thing happened, I hit the sweet spot of the club. The pureness of the strike, that single moment, was what ignited my passion for a sport I plan to play forever. Ever since that strike, my life has changed.
Spending every weekend and summer day at a country club as a teenager, I began to make friends both young and old. Many weekends and summer days were spent throughout high school traveling the country from Minnesota to South Carolina to Vermont competing in tournaments. In high school, golf gave me an outlet away from my parents’ divorce and helped me make some of my best friends, but in college, I grew with the sport. I learned to use it to channel stress from schoolwork without letting it define me. In college, it’s easier for me just to swing the club and smell the flowers without worrying about a potentially errant shot.
There is a very distinguished moment I remember at the start of my college golf career at Carnegie Mellon. Derek Cobb, then a junior on the team, had given me a ride back from practice and encouraged me to head over to Sigma Phi Epsilon to grab a bite to eat with him. Being a freshman, I looked up to him so I felt bad to say no, but in my head all I could think was “I’m never joining a frat… No way I’m gonna waste my college career, particularly my college golf career, with Greek life”. Although something funny happened when I was there, I felt that people understood I wanted to be the best student-athlete I could be. No brother pressured me into joining after I told them about my focus on golf, my double major, and my desire to go to medical school. In a sense, the lack of pressure made me rethink joining Greek life. Although I deferred my bid later that week, I began coming by SigEp more often before joining a few months later. Looking back on the experience, I’ve become a better and less stressed golfer because of the support I receive from my brothers.
My motivation has really increased for the sport because I see how passionate everyone around me really is. More importantly, I have found a support network different from my golf teammates in academics, social life, and even, family life. The two cannot be compared, but I can say they have complemented each other so perfectly and helped me forge my identity as a college student-athlete.