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Crimson Characters: Golf's Michael Shore

 

Editor's Note:
The feature story below on men's golf senior captain Michael Shore, is part of a year-long commitment to highlight Harvard’s captains and other intriguing student-athletes. For more question-and-answer features click here and enjoy the high-caliber student-athletes whom we have come to enjoy.

 

Senior captain Michael Shore was one of four men’s golfers who finished in the individual top 10 as Harvard took first place at the Yale Spring Opener, defeating eight other teams on the way to defending its 2008 title. Shooting an 11-over 151, Shore took seventh at the event. The Boca Raton, Fla., native will look to keep that momentum going as the Crimson competes in the Princeton Invitational this weekend, followed by the Caves Valley Spring Intercollegiate next weekend leading into the Ivy League Championships at the end of the month.

What is your concentration?
Economics.

What are your plans for a career after you graduate?
I’ll be working on an emerging markets trading desk. This job will provide me with experience in global markets and an education in valuing risk.

Which class has been your most memorable to date?
Positive psychology taught by Tal Ben-Shahar. This class truly changed my mindset so as to focus on the positive and good.

Has it hit you yet that you’ll soon be done here at Harvard?
Sort of, especially when one of the freshman golfers referred to me as an old-timer the other day (I’m 22 years old). Still, I have more than half the spring golf season left and plenty of academic work to go.

How did you get involved in squash? Do you still play?
I picked it up as a winter sport in high school after deciding that I didn’t want ringworm from the wrestling mats. I still play now and then and got involved in IM squash this past winter.

How did you first become involved in golf?
I grew up playing with a good friend in Florida at a course near to where we lived. We would fish the ponds on the course and hit the driving range almost everyday after school.

Who has been instrumental in developing your golf game?
Coach Jim Burke here at Harvard. He’s great at simplifying the game, which I have a tendency to complicate. Last weekend after one of my teammates asked what the optimal temperament on the golf course is, he responded that the golf ball doesn’t know whether you’re happy, sad, mad or whatever else.

Did you feel more comfortable this season being a captain after performing the duties your junior year?
Definitely. Like anything else, experience helps. I’d say the biggest thing I learned is that a captain’s responsibility does not include appeasing everyone.

What was the best course you ever played at? At what course would you like to play a round?
I really enjoyed playing Cypress Point a few years back with the team. It’s a perfect course whether you’re looking for peace and solitude or competition in a match (see “The Match” by Mark Frost). I would do almost/basically anything to play Augusta National. The place is, in a word, special.

If you could spend a day golfing with anyone, whom would it be and why?
My mom because she’s my inspiration and my best friend.

What has been your most memorable round, hole, shot, etc.?
On spring break last year, I hit, if I may say so myself, a pretty ridiculous flop shot through a small gap from the woods onto the green. My playing partners gave me a look of disbelief when the ball landed near the hole, and I responded with an even greater look of disbelief.

What type of clubs and ball do you prefer? Why so?
Unlike a lot of other college players, I’m relatively shameless in playing very player-friendly and forgiving clubs. Although I might sacrifice some shot making capabilities, I know that my equipment will at least not hinder me in hitting those shots that I am comfortable with. For these reasons, I like a lot of the equipment from Callaway.

Is anyone else in your family good at golf? If you know people who aren’t, do they try to get your help on their game?
My whole family – step-dad, mom and two sisters – has gotten involved with golf, which has been great since we can all play together. If I tried to put them in any sort of order by skill, I know that I would be getting myself into trouble. That being said, my sister Michelle vehemently claims that she is “more naturally talented” than me. They certainly come to me for pointers, and my best advice is that that the game’s supposed to be fun so just lighten up.

Describe what life is like in Boca Raton. Was it a change of pace when you began your schooling at Philips Exeter in New Hampshire?
Growing up in Boca Raton was wonderful. I got to play lots of sports with my friends and enjoyed the beach and ocean as much as I could. When I left for Exeter in high school, it certainly was a changeup, but one I am very grateful for. I was the first in my family and my circle of friends to attend any sort of prep school, and I feel like I gained a much different perspective at a young age.

What is a good vacation spot to go to? What city/place have you never been to that you’d like to see?
I have family in Rio de Janeiro, and it’s always a great time when I go to visit them. I went there this past New Year’s and got to enjoy dancing at a samba hall, coconut water on the beach and great, freshly cooked meals every day. I would love to go to remote trout fishing destinations like Patagonia or Kamchatka.

If someone is looking for a quick bite to eat close to campus, what place(s) would you recommend?
A couple of my favorites include Sabra Grill, Market in the Square and, of course, Pinocchio’s.

What type of music would we find you listening to in the car?
I listen to basically everything, but if it means anything – and to my roommates who have to listen to it all day, it does – I maintain that “Lollipop” (remix) by Lil Wayne, Static Major and Kanye West is the greatest musical recording ever.

What professional or collegiate teams do you root for? What sports besides golf do you enjoy watching/attending?
I root for the Miami Dolphins first and foremost. After that, I like the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox and the University of Florida Gators. I’ll watch/attend all the sports that I can. In my time at Harvard, one of my most memorable nights was going into Boston with a friend to watch a boxing fight at The Garden between Luis Collazo and Ricky Hatton.

If the entire golf team was put on “Survivor,” coaches included, who would win? Who would be voted off first?
“Big” John Christensen would win because he has an unparalleled physical and mental fortitude and absolutely no fear of anything. Greg Shuman would be voted off first.

What is one thing you know now that you wished you had known before?
That four years at Harvard flies by, and you should take advantage of every opportunity to experience something new and different while you can.

Describe your favorite childhood memories.
Between birthday parties on the weekends, my friends and I playing on the same sports teams together and home-cooked meals, middle school was the greatest!