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Junior Aidan Stuart made the All-SCC Team while helping Hand boys’ golf squad claim conference and state crowns this spring. (Photo courtesy of Aidan Stuart )
Aidan Stuart got into golf after moving to Connecticut and was intrigued from his first tee shot. As a member of the Hand boys’ golf team, Aidan’s love for the game helped him put together a successful junior season in which the Tigers made history.
Aidan lived in Cincinnati for nine years, before his family moved to Connecticut, where he discovered the links when he was in middle school. This year, Aidan helped Hand claim its first SCC and state titles since 2014 and 2013, respectively, while turning in solid 18-hole rounds at both championship meets.
Aidan garnered All-SCC honors by shooting an 80 at the SCC Championship for the Tigers. He followed up that performance by finishing with a score of 78 at the Division II State Championship.
“I love the sense of all the pressure on you with golf and putting it all on the line while taking it one shot at a time,” says Aidan. “Basically, living on the golf course has been great for my success, because I can practice things like my short game. I’ve just had that desire to get better, and my coaches have been awesome.”
Aidan approaches high-stakes postseason situations just like any ordinary practice round or stroll at the driving range. It was easy for Aidan to do that when he had the backing of such a close clubhouse of colleagues.
“When it came to the postseason, I just treat it like any other day,” Aidan says. “We’re all friends with each other on this team and play with each other, which is why we were so successful this year. We were such a competitive team at practices and matches and pushed each other to be better.”
Aidan feels that he’s done a solid job of getting the ball on the green during the first two years of his high school career. In his junior season, Aidan focused on becoming more proficient with his driver.
“Scrambling and my short game are some of my strengths, and I can rely on my wedge game,” says Aidan. “This year, off the tee I’ve been a lot better. When you hit your driver well, your confidence grows, because you’re in the middle of the fairway and have a great view of the green.”
Head Coach Jim Holleran says that Aidan displays great passion for golf, as well as tremendous respect for his teammates. These are two of the reasons why Holleran nominated Aidan to serve as a senior captain for the Tigers next spring.
“Aidan loves to play golf, and his enthusiasm and dedication to the sport, along with a lot of hard work, have enabled him to become an excellent golfer. He is a great teammate, always encouraging others and helping them with their games,” Holleran says. “Aidan stepped up to the challenge of tournament play this year. I know he will be a positive and spirited leader of the team next season.”
Looking ahead to his senior year, Aidan wants the Tigers to maintain their mantle by defending their SCC and state title trophies in 2020. On a personal level, Aidan just hopes to continue enjoying every round that he plays in a sport he loves so much.
“For the team, I want us to repeat as SCC and state champs, which I think we are very capable of,” says Aidan. “For me, I just want to take it one swing at a time and see what happens.”