Interview conducted by Kara Powell (K – PZ ’15) with cooperation of Foreplayers Club founders John Goodell (J – PZ’15) and Braden Bernards (B – PZ ’15), and an objection by Cyn Njideka (C – PZ ’15).
K: What’s the Foreplayers club?
J: The Foreplayers Club is…
K: Braden’s providing background music.
J: The Foreplayers Club is a club at Pitzer that me and my friend Braden formed last year that caters to busy students that are looking to golf, and engaging in anything else that golfing entails. I guess in some ways you could call it a Gentlemen’s Club, but for the most part we just go to the range, and hit balls, and every now and then, play nine. It’s a fun time.
K: Which range do you guys go to?
J: What’s that?
K: What’s the name of the range?
J: There’s a range up Indian Hill called Claremont Golf Course, which is going to be in operation for a few more days. But uhh…
K: It’s going to shut down?
J: Yeah. December 1st.
K: Oh no.
J: They’re being bought out by the colleges.
K: Whoa really?
J: Yeah. It’s not my personal favorite course. In fact, it’s the worst course I’ve ever played on, but there’s one nearby in San Dimas that’s about 20 minutes away., which is great. They let you ride golf carts. It’s a really fun time.
K: How do you usually get there? What’s your main mode of transportation?
J: To the Claremont Golf Course? I usually bike up, and rent out a club, and hit a ball for an hour or two. If you have a car, you can drive around to other clubs in the area and just hit around.
K: Would you ever think about expanding the club to the rest of the 5Cs?
J: Uh I thought about it, but no.
K: What is your vision for the club in the next coming year?
B: Essentially to be the largest political influence at Pitzer College.
J: Yeah. We kind of want to branch out. And we were talking about his earlier…
B: We’re aiming for the presidency.
K: I see. Umm…there’s talk about t-shirts. How’s that coming along?
J: Well I have my own opinions on the matter. Unfortunately, we’re not really going the direction I wanted.
B: What’s your opinion?
J: I wanted to get…I thought it would be funny and very fitting if we got long sleeved Polos, and have a little logo on top.
K: I think I know where this is going…
J: Or an argyle vest.
K: What logo?
B: We’re going for a long-sleeved light blue shirt that says “Foreplayers Club”…
J: We’re coordinating with the student investment committee on it.
K: Oh nice. How many members are in the Foreplayers Club right now?
J: You know I have to be honest with you. We expand every week. I come and I see new faces at every meeting.
B: It’s exponential. There’s a hunger for it.
J: I would say that this semester we’ve had 30 or 40 new faces come to meetings and inquire about the club. And tomorrow night, I wouldn’t be surprised if I see between 20 and 30 people show up.
K: When’s your next outing?
J: Well the way the club works is that in the meetings we talk about trying to loosely schedule something one week, but it’s more if you feel like golfing. You know, hitting the range, or playing 9 or 18. We go, we tell guys. We get receipts for the club and it’ll count toward our budget.
B: Sometimes we try to like play on Thursday or something.
J: Ideally, we like to plan an outing where we can get around 10 or 12 guys together, and play at least a full 9 if not 18 on the course.
B: We have a problem with attention span in this institution. Particularly boys.
K: Particularly young men. Young adolescents.
J: I think that’s kind of why I started the club. I wanted there to be a place for…
B: Oh did you?
K: What was the original idea for the conception of this club?
B: Is this like last year when you did Budget Committee?
J: I wanted it to serve as a place where basically guys, where college guys at Pitzer could involve themselves in.
C: Only guys?
K: Yeah you have some female members. Definitely co-ed.
B: But the vision behind the club is that there’s a dearth of activity when it comes to engaging males in Pitzer. And there’s a lot of boys that are really disinterested.
K: Yeah we have Femco, so much stuff.
B: We love everybody.
K: It’s a vagina-run campus.
J: Where’s that dick?
K: It’s a phallacy.
K: There’s an argument that golf isn’t a sport. Do you think it’s more of a leisurely recreational activity, or an athletic outlet?
B: I mean you see someone like John Daily, who I hope you’ll put a picture of. And how can you argue that’s not a sport?
J: I agree….
B: He’s about 300 pounds. Always drunk.
J: It’s a sport, but it’s a sport in its own right. If we’re going to count bobsledding and curling to be sports than god damn right you’re going to count golf as a sport. I mean it’s got more history than I think any other sport being played in America today.
B: I think particularly on college campuses as well. I mean the mental stamina and focus that’s required to be a good golfer, you can take that outside of the classroom. And we’re all about interdisciplinary learning. And with golf, instead of Anthropology being applied to History, if I can apply golf to history and mental focus, then I’m doing my job.
J: I’m not a big team sports guy either. I’m kind of an independent, and spiritual-minded guy, so golf and tennis, for example are two sports that work great.
K: You can be a team player, but also…
B: I’m sure this sounds so white…tennis, squash.
J: Squash is great. Squash is really fun…we should make a squash club.
B: We thought about kind of expanding, and actually, thinking about the politics of it. We thought about becoming something of an unofficial Gentlemen’s Society.
B: So we could actually play squash, golf…
K: So, when you say “Gentlemen’s Society”, umm…
B: Totally open to everybody.
K: Just under the title of “Gentlemen’s Society”?
B: I mean we cut out some connotations which are generally a part of…deep sea fishing would be a fun trip we’ve been trying to do, but I don’t’ think we could swim for golf club, so we thought about sort of re-naming, re-branding ourselves as kind of the old boy’s club, if you will. It’s a college. Maybe even merge with Student Investment Committee.
K: Alright. Would it still include members of the…
B: It could also be Gentle People’s Society.
K: Gentle People. Pitzer would like that.
B: Gentle Human’s?
K: Gentle Human’s. You know, you have to watch the PGPs up in here.
J: Gentle Spirits.
B: Well people try to overcompensate, but we realize that…
J: Gentle Spirits!
B: Golf is sort of a white male’s thing, and we strive for diversity…
K: Oh god. Do you all have any more to say about Foreplayers Club?
J: I don’t know. I think we’ve been pretty successful so far.
B: Just think. Is there another club that’s a year old and has seen the rates that we’ve seen?
K: Not sure, but I don’t think so.
B: I don’t think so. I’m pretty proud.
K: Sounds like you guys are doing very well. You have a strong vision.
B: But I’m very worried when we go abroad next semester…
J: So, I mean good things ahead.
B: I feel like a father, watching your son…or daughter, perform well.
K: Watching your human blossom.
B: We create something that’s really a beautiful thing.
K: Creation is beautiful, so is procreation.
B: That’s the next step.
K: Well, foreplay leads to what?
B: We’ve thought about…we ran out of t-shirts, so the t-shirt idea sort of hit a wall, and so we thinking about branding condoms. So we’ve thought about saying “when it gets to be more than foreplay…” and then our little logo.
K: That would be great. Maybe Sex Society would even throw you some money for that.
J: Gentle Spirits. We’re all really just Gentle Sprits at the end. I don’t know, I love going out on a course. Playing 9 holes. Don’t get me wrong. My anger problems get fully realized when I’m out there hitting balls.
K: So you think it’s therapeutic?
J: Yeah it really is. You get a lot of stuff out of your system. And if I’m going double bogey on every hole, at least I’m smacking the shit out of the ball.
K: You feel at home on the range.
J: Yeah. For sure.
B: Home on the range.
K: Well thank you both for taking time out of your homework schedule.
J: No problem. The more people know, the better.
The Foreplayers Club meets every Tuesday at 8:30 PM on the top floor of West Hall (Phase II). There are usually snacks.