Getting cut from the Osbourn Park golf team last year was not the worst thing that ever happened to Jonathan Thorpe, but because he was friends with Coach Mike Foley's daughter, he decided to send a message.
"I wrote a note in Natalie [Foley]'s yearbook to Mr. Foley," said Thorpe, a sophomore. "It said, 'I am a good golfer. Keep an eye out for me next year.' "
Although Thorpe said the message was in jest, he certainly was not joking about making the team this year. He got a job working at Bristow Manor Country Club and practiced golf almost every day this summer. The results were obvious by tryouts in August.
"Jonathan's tryout score was about 30 strokes lower than his tryout score last year," Foley said. "He really made up his mind to improve his game and went out and did it."
Thorpe had a training partner at Bristow in senior Tommy Parmentier, who also worked as a cart attendant at the club.
"We would work three or four days a week and play every other day," Parmentier said. "If we worked in the morning, we'd play in the afternoon or evening. All we wanted to do was play."
Parmentier was shooting in the low 90s at the end of last season but dropped his scores to the low 80s by the time Osbourn Park began practices.
"I got more consistent in every way," Parmentier said. "I am more confident in my swing now, and I know my swing a lot better, so I can tell what I'm doing wrong when I hit a bad shot."
Parmentier and Thorpe are currently in the No. 1 and No. 4 spots, respectively, for the Yellow Jackets, who finished fourth in the district tournament last year.
The two said they are similar distance hitters, so it was easy to learn from each other.
"Tommy is a really good golfer, and he's only going to get better," Thorpe said. "Our games are similar, so we really used a lot of teamwork."
Thorpe said putting and course management are the two biggest areas of improvement in his game.
"Last year I think I came in cocky, thinking, 'Oh, I'm going to be this or that,' but then after I didn't make it, I realized, 'No, you have to work hard at your game or it's no deal,' " Thorpe said. "Now I know what I can do, and if I hit a bad shot I just take my lumps instead of trying something stupid."