I was fortunate enough to sit down with one of NYU’s up-and-coming golfers, Julius Oppenheimer. He is a freshman who is playing Division III golf after only one season of high school varsity golf. In fact, in high school, Oppenheimer was an award-winning tennis player and a member of the varsity football squad. His diverse athletic experience makes his presence at this stage of competition unique and undoubtedly puts him in an interesting position as he attempts to prove himself in the heat of competition. So far, Oppenheimer has enjoyed some success at NYU, finishing eight above par at the Hamilton Fall Invitational Tournament. Oppenheimer struck me as an ambitious individual, candid speaker and a man of taste. We spoke about the Old Course at St. Andrews, bucatini all’amatriciana and everything in between.
Question: When did you start playing golf?
Answer: My dad introduced me to a whole bunch of sports, one of which was golf. It wasn’t until four years ago though that I became passionate about the game.
Q: How did your aspirations as a golfer change as you got older? What do you aim for now?
A: From the beginning, all I knew is that I wanted to get better, whatever that took. Golf requires many hours of practice, and I’ve been willing to make that commitment because I love the sport so much. In the short term, I’m trying to be the best player on my team.
Q: What is your favorite part of the game?
A: My favorite part of the game is that it presents a new challenge every single time out. I don’t think any other sport can say that. No shot is ever the same.
Q: What is your favorite club?
A: It has to be the putter. No matter how poorly you’ve played a hole, you can make up for those mistakes on the greens.
Q: Out of all the courses you have played on, which was your favorite?
A: I’ve been very fortunate in my life so far to play a lot of amazing golf courses in some really cool places. The Old Course at St. Andrews is my favorite. The history is so rich, the setting is spectacular and its design is genius.
Q: Do you have any role models?
A: Tiger Woods. He’s the ultimate competitor. Say what you want about the man’s private life, but the fact remains that he has done things for the sport that nobody else could have ever done.
Q: How do you want people to remember you?
A: I’m laid-back, generally pretty quiet. I think I like to be known just as a really good, honest guy, somebody who can always find a way to make you crack a smile. The other thing would be my determination. If I say I’m going to do something, I’ll put every effort into getting it done. On the course, I like to play with a focused, all-business type of attitude.
Oppenheimer is hopeful about the NYU men’s golf team. The team faced their toughest test of the season this week at the University Athletic Association Championships in Orlando, Fla. NYU finished fourth in its conference, under the leadership of Kyle Demshki, who shot one of the round’s best scores, four over par. The spring season will likely be an uphill battle for the young squad, but as the team continues to develop, fans can look to the course for some success. Oppenheimer’s confidence and ambition is quite reassuring.
A version of this article is appeared in the Tuesday, March 12 print edition. Nishaad Ruparel is a staff writer. Email him at [email protected]