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LEONARD ORTIZ , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Mater Dei's Curtis Robinson is the Register's boys golf coach of the year.

Boys golf coach of the year: Curtis Robinson, Mater Dei

STAFF WRITER

Had it not been for Juliet Robinson, the Mater Dei boys golf team might not have ended the season as CIF-SS Western Regional champions.

And she didn’t even attend one match.

It was Robinson who introduced her husband Curtis Robinson to golf, taking him to a driving range on one their first dates.

The Chapman quarterback was quickly humbled because he couldn’t hit the ball while Juliet was striping it right down the middle every time. So she gave him a few tips, and soon he was making contact too.

Robinson was suddenly hooked on the game, beginning a journey towards becoming the golf coach at Mater Dei in January and a Southern Section champion in May.

He has been selected by the Regsiter as the Orange County coach of the year.

“There are no words to describe how proud I am of these kids,” said Robinson, 44, a teaching professional at Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course. “They worked so hard all year and never gave up. This was a special team and I will use their season to inspire the future players of the Mater Dei golf program.”

All five of the Monarchs scoring players posted a score in the 70 as Mater Dei posted a 365 to beat Trinity League rival Servite by three strokes in the Southern Section regional at Whispering Lakes Golf Course in Ontario.

“There are so many great teams out there and this team was able to play great golf at the right time,” Robinson said. “They did it, they hit the shots and posted the scores, I am so proud of them.”

Robinson was a late addition to the team, replacing Derek Uyesaka about a month before the start of the season. Uyesaka left to become the general manager of David L. Baker Memorial Golf Center.

It was extremely challenging to get the position that close to the start of the season, Robinson said, but he didn’t have to wait long to find success. In the season-opening Servite Invitational, the Monarchs finished second after posting a 379 at Western Hills Country Club.

Robinson seems to have a knack for picking up things fast. Despite taking up the game so late, he has been a teaching professional at two Irvine golf courses - Strawberry Farms and Rancho San Joaquin.

After the Monarchs’ first practice, he said he could tell the team had the talent to be a champion. He just had to make them believe that they could do it.

“My belief in them became their belief in themselves,” he said.

He didn’t want the Monarchs stressing over every shot, insisting that they go out and play fun, carefree golf.

“And the kids immediately bought into the team building and brotherhood philosophy that is so important,” Robinson said.

They posted six scores in the 180s, including a 4-over-par 184 in an eight-stroke victory against Santa Margarita on the Classic Course at Mile Square Golf Course.

“You still have to get lucky and play great at the right time,” Robinson said, “but I knew then that we all knew that we could do it. I think that is what makes this season so special.”

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ALL-COUNTY BOYS GOLF

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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