Frosh Golf Prodigy Chases College Career

Amanda Young, Staff Writer

Freshman Baron Szeto, a newcomer to the boys’ golf team, has developed both a talent and passion for the sport from an extremely you age.

“I just found an interest in [golf] and just started it. My dad [played and kind of got me into it],” explained Szeto, who added that golf’s independence makes the sport enjoyable for him. “There’s a lot of competition, and you can kind of rely on yourself and your own skills instead of other people,” he said.

However, Szeto also appreciates the team aspect that the Campolindo golf program provides. “It’s a lot of team bonding, I guess. You play for each other, not just yourself, in Campo golf,” he said.

Senior Jay Thomas, a captain for the varsity team, first met Szeto about 4 years ago at the Moraga Country Club (MCC) putting green. “I was just working on my short game, chipping and putting, and he was out there grinding on his short game,” said Thomas.

Szeto made a big impression on him. “When he first came on, you know, he’s a freshman, so everyone [thought], ‘Oh, maybe he’ll be on [the team].’ I saw him and I’m like, ‘This kid’s talented, he’ll be on varsity.’ But we’re all like, ‘He has to prove it first,’ and he has,” said Thomas.

“It is rare for a freshman to make the starting lineup at Campo,” said varsity head coach Steve Robinson, but “Baron has strengthened the team with strong and consistent performances.”

“He’s broken 80 in every single one of our tournaments this year,” added Thomas, referring to an impressively low score in an 18-hole game. “He’s been in the top 10 in a very tough tournament to play in and on a tough golf course. He’s been right there on our time; he’s easily one of our top 5 and it’s impressive that he’s able to do that as a freshman.”

Robinson said that he has been impressed with Szeto’s “work ethic and determination to improve and help the team win.”

So far, Szeto has done well in his transition to high school golf from his junior tournaments. “I don’t think it’s a transition [from outside golf to Campo golf], only because Campo golf is very competitive, but the fact that you’re with your friends and people you like make it even maybe a little more fun in my opinion,” said Thomas. “I think, if anything, it’s easier to jump into Campo golf because you have everyone supporting you.”

Szeto’s long-term goal is to play college-level golf, and he has his eyes set on Stanford University. In order to achieve that, Szeto said, “We’re just going to start playing bigger tournaments, out of state tournaments, international ones. I’ve done some out of state tournaments; it’s kind of a lot, more nerve-racking, but also more fun because you’re playing with other guys that you don’t know as well.”

“Baron is on track to play golf in college,” Robinson agreed. “He will continue to improve; I can probably help him most with the mental part of the game, making sure he makes good risk and reward decisions with his shots during competitions.”

“I’m very excited to have Baron on the team for the next 3 years. Besides being an excellent golfer, his enthusiasm, sense of humor and team spirit helped lift the team,” said Robinson.