Quinton Borseth knows there are no shortcuts in golf. He realized awhile ago that if he wanted to be a better player, he’d have to put in a lot of hard work.
Repetition breeds muscle memory and confidence. For Borseth, that repetition has become a big part of his life.
“I probably hit 500 balls per day at home — sometimes before school, sometimes after practice,” the Stanwood senior said. “I’ve got a pretty sweet setup.”
He sure does. His at-home practice facility includes three practice greens and an indoor driving shed, which is lit for nighttime use.
“It’s pretty special,” Borseth said. “My dad built the whole thing. He’s in love with golf.
“It’s (satisfying) when you put the time in and you get the results, but then it makes it almost worse when you don’t get the results. But they’re going to come.”
Good results have been coming to Borseth, the Spartans’ top golfer, for several years. He’s hoping to achieve his best result later this spring, though.
Last year he took medalist honors in six matches, won the 3A District 1 championship and placed 17th at the 3A state tournament. This year, he has his sights set on a top-five finish — or perhaps even higher.
“I feel like I can win this year if I really want to,” he said. “I definitely got a lot better this summer playing in different events.”
“His game is good enough to get him into the top five,” Stanwood coach Scott Bates said. “He’s big off the tee, his course management has improved tremendously and he’s got a dynamic work ethic. He just has that inner desire to perform well.”
Borseth is a pretty good athlete — he was a member of the Stanwood boys basketball team that placed fourth at the Class 3A Hardwood Classic earlier this month — and has always been a fairly long hitter off the tee.
But during the past couple years, his short game has improved substantially, and that improvement has led to a drop in his scores. As a freshman, he shot between 85 and 90. As a sophomore, he got down into the mid- to high 70s. Last year he averaged about 73.5 strokes per round, with a career-best 6-under-par 64 during a round at Cedarcrest Golf Course.
“My putting has been tremendously better,” said Borseth, who plans to sign an NCAA letter of intent next month to join the Seattle University men’s golf team in the fall. “I put a lot more work into it. I didn’t really think it was that important. I never really lined up my ball. Once I started doing that, I got so much better. If you want to score, you have to putt well.”
Borseth also has learned to “put things in perspective and look at the big picture” when he’s on the course, according to Craig Welty, head professional at Skagit Golf & Country Club.
“Quinton has a dry sense of humor and great character. Some golfers put a lot of pressure on themselves, but he can laugh off bad shots,” said Welty, who’s worked with Borseth for the past five years. “He’s done a lot of things that he didn’t think he could do, and that’s because of his attitude. He’s wise beyond his years in that regard.”
Borseth was introduced to golf by his father, Adam, who worked for many years at Cedarcrest Golf Course and is certified by the United States Golf Teachers Federation.
“I think golf is just more challenging,” Borseth said. “There’s always something you can get better at. You don’t have to be 6-foot-8 and jump 40 inches in the air (to succeed). How hard you work controls how good you are. Obviously it takes some skill, but it definitely takes work ethic.”
It’s a good thing, then, that Borseth has a great work ethic.
“He’s beyond where I was at his age,” said Welty, who was a three-time NCAA Division II All-American at Western Washington University. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he had a ton of success in college and pursued a professional career. I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on him, but it wouldn’t surprise me. He’s got the pieces in place to be very successful.”