There’s been a lot of talk lately about U.S. presidents spending time on the golf course. Whether it’s Obama or Trump, it seems hitting the links is a popular getaway these days.
So for Gig Harbor High School boys basketball coach Billy Landram, what better way to unwind from a stressful hoops season than hitting the golf course?
Landram is entering his third season as coach of the Gig Harbor boys golf team, representing two sports that are in many ways, opposites.
Basketball is frantically paced at time. Golf is slow.
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Basketball is a team sport. Golf, more or less, is an individual sport.
“They’re very different,” Landram said. “Golf is pretty straightforward — you shoot where you shoot. Basketball is very subjective.”
Landram played basketball growing up and at San Jose State in college. While he didn’t play golf at that high a level, he has been involved with coaching it before, as an assistant at Olympic College in Bremerton. When the Gig Harbor job opened up, Landram seized the opportunity.
“I love golf,” Landram said. “It’s very relaxing for me. It’s a whole different group of kids that you get to know. It’s nice to branch out that way.”
In basketball, Landram is mostly trying to build a winning team and collaborative culture. Fitting those pieces together is the biggest challenge. But in golf, he’s more focused on helping each individual become as good as they can be.
“I come at it more of just trying to help each kid become their best on the course,” Landram said. “For a kid to be successful, they don’t have to defend the other person or beat them. They’re really just playing against themselves every time. So it’s a much different atmosphere.”
So which sport is his favorite to coach? Tough call, Landram said. But basketball might have the slight edge.
“I think I’m a basketball guy at heart, growing up and playing since I was 5,” Landram said. “But I do really enjoy (golf) as well.”
Landram thinks this golf team might be his best, led by sophomore sensation Sean Vaovasa.
“We’ve got a pretty deep team. We’ve got a freshman that’s playing, too, and a couple juniors. It’s the best team I’ve had.”
Gig Harbor appears on a collision course to face off with Capital High School in early May for the league championship, if both schools can remain undefeated in league play.
The Cougars and Tides are both sitting tied atop the league with 3-0 records in the Class 3A South Sound Conference.