Peering over a bunker and onto the green, golfer Bobby Kaminski '14 took a step back to scan from a better angle. Confident in his decision, he addressed the ball again and with a short, compact swing, punched the ball over the hill in a spray of white sand.
After a short flight, the ball dropped slightly above the pin and with a slight backspin, rolled gently until it stopped near the hole.
Kaminski, satisfied with his approach, pulled his putter out of the bag and headed up to the green for one more putt among the hundreds that had defined his summer.
Kaminski rededicated himself to golf this summer, with emphasis on his short game. As any golfer knows, a good short game of chipping and putting is essential to shooting low scores.
Kaminski admitted that at times last season, his putting game proved to be his Achilles heel.
"Last year that was the part of my game that really let me down," he said. "Having a good putting day can turn an 81 into a 75, or an 80 into a 78."
Despite winning the 2011 Maine State Golf Championship this past weekend against a very strong field, Kaminski, who shot a 147 over two days (72, 75), did not originally know that he was going to play golf at Bowdoin.
Originally a hockey recruit, he came to college thinking that hockey would be his only sport since golf does not actively recruit players.
"He came in as a hockey player, but fortunately he's a good golfer, too," said Head Coach Tomas Fortson. When asked about Kaminski's performance this past weekend, Fortson had nothing but praise for his player.
"He was very resilient," Fortson said. "I think particularly in the second day, he stayed consistent and focused."
While Kaminski calls hockey his "number one sport," golf was never very far from his heart. From an early age, the game was always a part of Kaminski's life and his relationship with his father.
"My dad got hooked on golf from my grandfather, and when he got hooked, he started taking me to the range when I was five or six years old," said Kaminski.
"I play hockey too, but I can remember playing golf before I played hockey," he added.
His passion for the game continued through high school, when Kaminski captained his team to an undefeated season during his senior year.
"I like how one day you can play really poorly and hate the game, and the next day have one of the best days of your life," he said.
"Once you have that one day where you play to what you think is to the best of your abilities, you're automatically hooked," he added. "You know if you did it once, you can do it again."
While many may not see the similarities between hockey and golf, Kaminski believes being a golfer is not unlike being a goaltender, his position in hockey.
Kaminski explained that hockey goalies have a different mindset from the other players on the ice.
"Goalies have time to watch the game," he said. "Because of that, you're kind of in your own head...being a goalie is very mental. That's the same way as golf. You're out there by yourself."
Just as a goalie has to forget any early goals he may have allowed, a golfer must quickly forget a bad hole and move on.
According to Kaminski, that is what makes the transition between the two sports so easy.
"When I'm concentrating on the golf course, it's very similar to concentrating on the ice," he said.
Kaminski hopes to continue playing both hockey and golf for the rest of his career at the College.
"I really have passion and respect for both sports and I love them both dearly," he said.