BLUE HILL—George Stevens Academy golfer Percy Zentz is coming off his best season to date. The sophomore recorded several top finishes during the regular season and broke 80 at the State Championships on October 8 to finish third in Class C.
With only a year and a half of high school under his belt, Zentz is young for a sport played predominantly by a much older age bracket, but he has already been playing golf for about a decade.
“I’ve been playing since I was 5,” said Zentz during the team’s practice at the Blue Hill Country Club October 3. “My dad and grandfather both golf and I remember always wanting to beat them.”
These days Zentz is now accustomed to scores at or around par on a fairly consistent basis, but he said his game has not always been so pretty.
“I was pretty terrible,” he said with a laugh. “But I kept working at it, and I always golfed as much as I could, and I just got better.”
Though George Stevens Academy practices and plays their home matches at the Blue Hill Country Club, Zentz said he considers his home course to be the Island Country Club in Deer Isle.
“I’ve grown up on that course, I love to play there with my dad and grandfather,” he said.
His familiarity with the course led to an 18-hole round of 72, or four over the course par of 68.
In addition to being a golfer, Zentz is also a member of GSA’s basketball and baseball teams, both of which had successful seasons during the 2015-16 school season. Because of his familiarity with big-time game situations, as well as constantly being in training, Zentz said that being a three-sport athlete has helped him improve as a golfer.
“I think playing different sports helps a lot,” he said. “It makes me think about the game differently. When I have bad shots I just try to put good thoughts in my mind and move on.”
Zentz is coached by Dwayne Carter during the golf and basketball seasons, which has led to a positive player-and-coach relationship.
“[Zentz] is very focused for a sophomore, which is impressive,” said Carter. “He’s really independent. If there’s something about his game that he needs to work on he does it on his own. He’s really hard on himself, but he doesn’t let it get to him.”
“I think Coach [Carter] has been really helpful in teaching me how to put things away and move on from a shot,” said Zentz. “It’s something he teaches us in basketball, too; it’s just a little different pace.”
With two more years of golf to look forward to, Zentz said he is eager to continue to improve his game over the next couple of seasons.
“There’s always something you can improve with golf,” he said. “It’s one of those sports where you spend your entire life getting better. That’s what makes it challenging.”