Luera makes best of four years in golf


Angel Gonzalez

At Elkhorn, senior Diego Luera practices on the putting green. He was perfecting his swing before the match starts against Bear Creek.

Green grass stretches across the ground, seemingly endless, and though there may be several people there, there is no sound to be heard.

Senior Diego Luera uses this opportunity to focus and make sure each swing is perfect; to win and record a lower score than your opponent.

When Luera joined the golf team his freshman year these were some of the things he had to develop in order to play the sport.

Going out with his dad to the golf course every other weekend, Luera never really picked up on the sport.

When his dad suggested he sign up for golf his freshman year Luera decided to take his advice.

The rules of the game were confusing for him in the beginning. Reflecting on his first match he recalls the mistakes he made.

From his swing to learning how the scoring worked, “At first, (he) was like ‘get as many swings as you can, like a whole bunch,” Luera said. “I thought the higher the score the better.”

From that moment on, those mistakes motivated him to become the best he could be.

Since his freshman year, the senior has improved his score from shooting in the 60s to shooting in the 40s.

Now one of the starting six players, he remembers winning his first tournament and the excitement he felt.

There were so many other people playing that day, Luera was sure he wouldn’t come even close to winning.

But actually winning the tournament out of all the others there shocked him.

“But then once I realized it, I was like ‘How did that even happen?’” he said.

While being a part of a team, he developed friendships with several people on the team, particularly senior Alexander Apcar.

The two have each other for support and playful competition, constantly trying to help each other improve. “Ever since freshman year, I’ve seen him get better and better,” Apcar said.

“I always look up to him, try to get better, and try to compete with him. We just help each other improve to get better.”

With many beginners on the team this year, Luera and Apcar have worked together to assist the newer players.

“We try to help them get all the fundamentals down like grip, posture, ball alignment, and stuff like that,” Apcar said.

The team tried again to go undefeated, but after last week’s loss, they are doing their best to win the rest of their matches. “It’s one team that we lose to, but next time, we could probably beat them and go 14-1,” Luera said. “We still have a good chance here.”

Whenever people find out Luera is a golfer, there are always mixed reactions. “They’re like ‘That’s sorry. Why do you play golf?’” he said.

Others are surprised to even hear that he plays the sport. “Some of them are like ‘you play golf?’ Like they never thought I would try it,” Luera said.

“Some are like ‘that’s boring.’ But some are like shocked to hear it.”

To him, though, none of those things matter. Throughout high school, he has encouraged people to join the golf team.

“I try to get people to join, some of my friends, but they don’t do it.”

When out on the course, Luera loses the pressure of school, home, and practically everything else.

“You can just relax out there and have fun.”