Skylar Le Vine: Golf Phenom

Skylar Le Vine: Golf Phenom

By Sarah Govis

Junior Skylar Le Vine steps up to the tee at Weber Golf Course. His teammates’ conversations fall silent as they wait for him to hit. He sets up his ball and takes a single practice swing. His swing is fluid and calm, but full of force. He steps up to the ball and takes his swing. His driver collides with the ball at the perfect angle, and it flies off the tee, straight to the green, just inches away from the flag.

Le Vine was first encouraged to play golf by his uncle when he was in the third grade.

“I started playing when I was nine. I played all different sports, but something about golf was different. My uncle encouraged it, but he was cool about it. There was no pressure,” he said.

Le Vine managed to make the varsity team as a freshman, but he was the only one on the team.

“I was the only freshman,” Le Vine said. “The upperclassmen were cool and helpful, but it took a lot of commitment and hard work.”

His coach, Mitch Stern, thought he was very wise as a freshman, which contributed to him making the varsity team. He also shares the values that the golf team has.

“He was the second best golfer on the team. He didn’t have the mind of a freshman; he was much wiser than his age,” he said. He has values that the Niles West golf team has as their philosophy — be a good person in the world and on the golf course, and don’t get rattled by things. You just have to move on.”

His favorite thing about golf is that it’s almost completely individual; instead of relying on your teammates, you have to depend on yourself.

“It’s 100 percent individual. If you succeed or mess up, it’s on nobody but yourself,” he said. “It’s unlike all other sports — it’s tough to have no one else to rely on if you have a bad day.”

His favorite club is his putter because to him, it’s the most important.

“You can have bad rounds with any other club,” Le Vine said. “But with the putter you can still have a good score.”

He also keeps himself busy with a variety of other activities when he isn’t golfing.

“I like to keep busy. I’m a social person. I play other sports — I play basketball and football. I stay busy with work because I caddy on the weekends at the Wilmette Golf Course,” he said.

He also makes sure he plays over the summer to continue to do well.

“I played in a competitive summer tournament. It was a really humbling experience,” Le Vine said.

Le Vine said he doesn’t plan on keeping his beloved hair when he gets older.

“Right now, I don’t plan on shaving it, but it’s eventually going to have to be cut. I can’t pull it off when I’m older,” he said.

He blames sophomore Jake Peiser and junior Weston Hendershot on his recent haircut.

“They came with me to my hair appointment,” Le Vine said. “They kept telling me to cut more off, so I did.”

Many others also appreciate his curly hair.

“I love it,” said sophomore Michael Hyman. “It’s the flow.”

His coach is glad that he’s cut it since freshman year.

“He really toned it down. Freshman year, it wasn’t even human,” Stern said.