The 2018 Senior Perspectives is the 13th 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.
Greg Royston, Men's Golf
Hometown: Durban, South Africa
House Affiliation: Kirkland
There is something unique about pursuing a sport to the highest level as a member of a team, and it is particularly special to do so in a usually-individual sport like golf. Besides the obvious hard work and commitment required, being a valuable and contributing member of a team demands one bring an immense focus to every practice and competition. Your actions and attitude don’t only affect yourself and your own performance (which itself is important to the team), but they also affect others on the team – one player giving that little bit extra inspires teammates to do so too, while someone slacking off easily leads multiple players down that same path. In a small team like ours this is even more pronounced. In my first three years I was lucky to have teammates ahead of me setting an example to follow, and hopefully I have done the same for the younger players this year. Focusing primarily on the team has given me a new perspective on the game that has helped me to grow as a golfer and which I will take with me as I continue to play post-college.
Along with playing the game I love, one of the great joys of being on the golf team has been the chance to clear my mind each day. As soon as I cross ‘the river’ on the way to practice, my mind switches from the multiple problem sets, meetings, emails and so forth that make up much of Harvard life to my game and the team. Bringing my best to every practice leaves little room for other stresses, and there are few better ways for destressing than working hard to improve my golf. I also genuinely believe in the value of getting away from campus regularly and have undoubtedly benefited from it. Those daily trips off campus have kept my experiences at Harvard in perspective, allowing me to better appreciate and enjoy the good ones while brushing off the more difficult moments. I contribute a great deal of my happiness during my time at Harvard to this.
Harvard golf added much more than just these two things to my experience at Harvard – in moments and memories, in a support system, and in lessons learned for golf and life – and I am enormously grateful to those many people whom have devoted (and continue to devote) so much of their lives to the program. Kevin and Fred, thank you for so readily taking the time to give me advice, and for teaching me all that you have. Thank you to all my teammates for being role-models and friends. Mom and Dad, thank you for making these remarkable four years possible.