The 2017 Senior Perspectives is the 12th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
Daniel De La Garza, Men's Golf
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
House Affiliation: Kirkland
Four years ago, I received a letter that changed my life. I knew Harvard would be an incredible experience, but I didn’t expect a sport to play such a large role in that. The Harvard golf team has been the best experience I have had at Harvard, and my coaches and teammates have made me into a better teammate, person, and friend.
Like everything meaningful in life, being a part of a varsity sports team has required sacrifices. Without a doubt, both being a student-athlete and being part of a team presented me with a challenge that has made me bring my best every single day. For us as golfers, in addition to the demanding academics associated with Harvard, we also face the disadvantage of Boston’s weather. However, having limitations on our ability to practice has challenged me to bring my best to every practice to make it as effective as possible. At Harvard golf we do not practice quantity; we practice quality.
One of the best parts of Harvard golf is getting to spend time with people that are smart, extremely professional, and at the same time humble. The guidance, mentorship, and example of our Director, Fred Schernecker, not only as a leader but also as a person have made Fred a role model and a second father to me. His advice and dedication to me and my teammates has made our Harvard experience possible, invaluable, and at the same time enjoyable. Additionally, the professionalism, knowledge and humility of our Coaches, Kevin and Curtis, have been key for my growth as a golfer and as a person. They have been very influential in my development and I will remember them for the rest of my life.
However, the most meaningful part of my Harvard experience has been my teammates. They are extremely talented, committed, and motivated human beings that inspire me every day to become the best I can be not only as a golfer, but also as a person. That is why being named senior Captain by them this year represents one of the biggest privileges and responsibilities that I’ve had in my life. They have made me give my absolute best, not for me, but for them and the team.
My experience at Harvard has been greatly enhanced by the involvement of previous team members and generous donors. They are continually worried for the continuity and success of the Harvard golf program. Like them, I will be an ambassador and mentor of the Harvard golf program and I hope to contribute so that the program keeps improving every day to ensure it is a transformative experience for great people.
My experience as part of the golf team has been very fulfilling and has contributed to my development as a person, which will help me face the challenges that life presents to me with more security and confidence. It has been a true honor and privilege to wear the Harvard uniform for the last 4 years and I am extremely thankful to my teammates, coaches, and the Harvard golf family for giving me this invaluable opportunity.