Brothers in Clubs: The Gladstone Boys

It’s an annual tradition for the Rye boys’ golf team. In the final practice of the season, the top players choose sides to compete in a scramble contest. Co-captain Andrew Gladstone, a junior, could have picked anyone on the talented Garnets’ roster, but ended up selecting a 7th grader – his younger brother, William.

It was the right choice.

The scrambled ended in a tie between the Gladstone team and another, meaning the victors would be determined by a sudden-death playoff hole.

“The brothers won because Andrew hit a tee shot that landed about three feet from the hole, and William sank the putt,” said Rye head coach Pat Romano. “That showed me right there that ‘Team Gladstone’ will be a huge force for us next year.”

While the future holds great promise, the brothers are reveling in the present. Separated by four years, it would not have been a surprise if they never crossed paths on the varsity team. But William one-upped Andrew by making the team a year earlier than his older brother did, and the results have been a dream come true for the pair.

Although William only got his feet wet with the Garnets this season, Andrew was impressed with the results.

“I didn’t expect him to go out and have an unreal season, but he has certainly had a good one,” said the junior. “He has always been confident and outgoing, so I think that has helped with the age difference. If he has any nerves, he hasn’t shown any.”

Andrew noted that William isn’t yet at the stage where he can take down his older brother on the links, so advice comes free and flowing. Once he gets to that level, however, Andrew joked that the days of helpful pointers will be over.

“It’s always been one of my dreams to play on the same team as my brother, but I never thought it would happen,” said William. “It was such a great feeling to be named to the team, and I feel honored to play with Andrew. It’s helpful to have him with me – if I start playing poorly he reminds me to stay calm and keep my cool.”

The brothers have similar games in that they can drive the ball long, but sometimes struggle with accuracy. It hasn’t been much of a problem for Andrew this season at all though. He qualified for Sectionals and could very well make States.

“Andrew has had a phenomenal season and has played his most consistent golf,” said Romano. “He leads by example, has improved each season, and possesses a tremendous amount of talent. The younger players on the team truly look up to him and follow the example he sets.”

The future is bright for Rye’s golf program, which boasts a young nucleus – including Thomas Henderson, Jabril Whiteside, Henry Bailey, and another seventh grader, James McHugh – that will return in 2011. It’s no wonder the Gladstone brothers are right in the thick of things. They grew up on the golf course. Literally.

“I first played when I was in second grade and my family moved from New York City to Westchester Country Club,” said Andrew. “I immediately got into the game, and my father kept me hungry for it.”

William recalls loving the game as a 3-year-old, because he wanted to be like his older brother.

— Jim Byrne

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