- Golfer Benefits
CONCORD, Massachusetts — They say there’s no substitute for experience — a saying to which John Broderick (Dedham Country and Polo Club) can certainly attest.
Broderick is the only golfer in the 114th Massachusetts Amateur Championship field who’s won a state- or regional-level title at Concord Country Club, where he captured the New England Amateur Championship crown two years ago. Though golf can be anyone’s game once match play begins, he hopes to use his knowledge of how to win at Concord to his advantage during this week’s championship.
“I only have good memories here,” said Broderick, the 2020 Mass Golf Christopher Cutler Rich Junior Player of the Year. “Obviously it’s been two years, but it’s a course I know pretty well and most of the holes I have a good memory about.”
Broderick’s win in 2020 turned heads and generated new opportunities for him. In the second round, he shot a 5-under 65 to spring into the lead. After he defeated Nick Maccario in a thrilling playoff, Broderick received an official offer from Vanderbilt University, the third-ranked DI program in the country whose coaches had fixed a watchful eye on him. Broderick committed just days later, and he’ll finally head to Nashville in the fall as the No. 1 recruit out of Massachusetts.
John Broderick is 16-years-old, and needed par on his final hole of the tournament to force a playoff for the New England Amateur Championship.
What’d he do? Step up, flag it, and go chasing after it. 🏃♂️#TourSauce | @NoLayingUp pic.twitter.com/JR8lMH0K1J
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) July 24, 2020
While he looks forward to what awaits him as a Commodore, the Wellesley native feels that this year’s trip to Concord comes with much different expectations.
“It’s a little different because I came into that tournament not even expecting to play well,” Broderick said. “Obviously I had good expectations, but I didn’t expect to contend and win, and it’s just a little bit of a shock to be honest. Now I’m coming in as I feel like I’m one of the top players in this field and should contend.”
Broderick also said he’s entered this year’s championship more well-rested than in 2021 and at a course that better suits his style of play. He plans to use his know-how from the New England Amateur to manage the course itself.
Charlie Doar, his coach at the Belmont Hill School, believes the key to success for Broderick at the Mass Amateur is to think back to that experience as a reminder not to put too much pressure on himself.
“If he can sort of play like that younger version of himself that wasn’t yet ‘known’ or ‘discovered’ and he has that chip on his shoulder, I think he’ll play really well,” he said.
Broderick agreed that keeping the pressure off was important: “I think I’d do it a little more than at other tournaments, but I really tried not to do that [Monday] and I did a pretty good job,” said Broderick, who shot a 1-over 71 in the opening round.
The Mass Amateur is Broderick’s latest opportunity to demonstrate his golf prowess before he heads to the college level, and it’s been a successful summer for him already. He recently qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes, returning to the Championship Proper after reaching the Round of 32 in the 2021 competition at Pinehurst. He also has the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship to look forward later to later this summer, where he’ll again be a contender.
His achievement the past few seasons is worthy of mention as well, including a win at the 2021 Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship with Weston Jones (Charter Oak Country Club), who is also competing in the Mass Amateur.
For those who know Broderick, his success of late isn’t exactly a surprise.
Doar, who first met Broderick at the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship in 2018 ahead of his first year at Belmont Hill, commended him for, “standards he sets for himself and his teammates, his competitive spirit, and how even though he’d won personal accolades by playing well, in the summer and in the season.
“He was all about focusing on the other guys on the team and their game,” Doar continued. “He would always come up to me and say something about the way someone’s hitting, the course management decisions someone made, or [somebody’s] got a lot of work tonight and may not be able to make it to practice. He was all about focusing on others, which is really cool considering he’s always been kind of the guy and given how much he’s succeeded on the course,” Doar added.
Doar feels that Broderick’s commitment to the helping rest of his teammates will benefit him at the NCAA level, where every member of the team plays a critical role in how the group performs. He also believes that Broderick’s academic preparation at Belmont Hill will bode well for him at an academically prestigious institution such as Vanderbilt.
“I was thrilled for so many reasons,” Doar said about when he found out Vanderbilt was interested in Broderick. “I think it’s really cool for someone from this area to go play SEC golf because I think that the New England area sometimes gets overlooked. But I also think John will be good because when you play up here, you get used to playing in bad weather, you get used to playing when the conditions aren’t great in the early spring and late fall, you get used to weird lies, really undulated greens, blind shots, kind of quirky golf courses. I think he also is used to not playing as much as other people from warmer states who play all year round because, you know, for close to half a year, he’s just hitting a golf ball in his basement.”
In addition to more favorable conditions, Broderick himself is looking forward to the learning opportunities that joining the Vandy team will provide.
“I’m just really looking forward to learning from the players,” he said. “We’re have a really good golf team, some great coaches and there’s a lot of guys who have a lot of experience and know how to play great golf. And being from up here, I think sometimes experience is something that I don’t have yet and I’m just really looking forward to competing against the best kids next year in a team setting.”
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