Athlete Profile: Aaron Straub

Senior golfer A.J. Straub was recently named as the University Athletic Association (UAA) golf athlete of the week.

This honor is a response to Straub’s performance in Carnegie Mellon’s season-opening play in St. Petersburg, Fla., over spring break. Straub led the Tartans with a score of 74 over 18 holes. His score was enough to help the Tartans to a first-place finish in the three-team field. The Tartan recently talked to Straub to find out more about him and his role on the Carnegie Mellon golf team.

Tartan: When did you start playing golf, and why did you start?
Straub: My dad taught me how to play when I was three. I got one of those plastic sets with the wiffle balls and would hit them around the yard all day. When I was five he cut down some real irons for me.

T: Did you always want to play collegiate golf?
S: No, I actually came to Carnegie Mellon to play basketball. After freshman year, I talked to the golf coach and he said to come out for the team.

T: What is the hardest part about being a student athlete at Carnegie Mellon?
S: Time management. I play golf and basketball, so I am never out of season because golf is a spring and a fall sport and basketball is a winter sport.
It’s tough to find the time to practice your athletics and to get your studies done at a university of this caliber.

T: What is the best part?
S: I’ve got to see a lot of places for free all over the United States that I have never been to before because of the travels of athletics. You get to play on so many great golf courses that you normally wouldn’t have access to for free.

T: Do you have any superstitions or good luck charms?
S: I only play Titleist Pro Vs with the number “2” on them in tournaments.

T: How do you gain your competitive edge? What do you do before your rounds?
S: I listen to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” before every golf match and basketball game.

T: What is your most meaningful golf accomplishment and why?
S: I won the club championship at the St. Marys Country Club my senior year in high school. It gave me the confidence I needed to become the decent golfer that I am today.

T: To what do you attribute your success in golf?
S: The teachings of my father, swing coach, and the guys at the Leadbetter Academy.

T: How supportive is your family?
S: Very. They pay the tuition.

T: What is the best advice that a coach or teammate has given you?
S: Forget about your last shot and focus on your next one.

T: How do you like to spend your free time on or off campus?
S: What free time? Between two sports and chemical engineering, there isn’t much of that going around.
Now that I’m a second-semester senior, I like to spend the little free time I have at Peter’s Pub, Silkie’s, Shadyside, or Station Square.

T: Which professional golfer does your swing most resemble?
S: My swing is way too ugly to resemble any professional golfer.

Beginning with this issue, The Tartan will be profiling in each issue one of Carnegie Mellon’s athletes who have recently excelled in their sports.