WE ASKED Doug Shirakura A FEW QUESTIONS.
Tell us about your GPC journey. When did you join GPC? Why did you join? What do you like about training/playing here?
I joined GPC the winter of my freshman year in college originally as a way to just continue playing golf during the winter and start training physically as well. Although it is intimidating at first, all the staff, coaches, and players are extremely nice and I think the best part about GPC apart from the access to advanced equipment is the incredibly friendly and competitive atmosphere that drives you to always be working hard.
What challenges have you faced as an athlete and/or person?
Being physically challenged, as an amputee, is one of the most significant challenges in my life but being this way from a young age I have learned to not let it affect me, if anything, use it to my advantage to help inspire people and grow the game to those who would have never thought playing a sport was even a possibility.
What skills or knowledge did you learn throughout your time at GPC that you’ve applied at WPI and in your golf career?
The most important skill I’ve learned at GPC that I apply every day is paying attention to my body physically and mentally and how understanding myself better translates to making better decisions about my training and studying off-course and my golf shots on the course.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of myself, to see how far I’ve come in the last 2 years, going from a barely competitive, below-average high school golfer and thinking that after senior year and COVID I wouldn’t compete again to someone who can compete against some of the best college golfers in the MET area and the best adaptive golfers around the world.
What piece of advice do you have for current student-athletes at GPC?
My advice for current student-athletes at GPC would be, it’s never the end of the world. You never know how tomorrow will go and should only focus on your journey and how you get there, not how the people around you got there. We all have different paths and it’s important to remember not to panic if you ever feel you might be falling behind.
If you could play with anyone, who would it be?
I have a list of people I would love to play with but, unoriginally, it has to be Tiger Woods. Self-explanatory.
What are you looking forward to in the next few months (in golf, in life, etc.)?
I am always looking forward to my next golf tournament, I don’t know what it will be yet but I am always looking forward to the spring and summer golf season.
Who is the person (or people) in your corner that have supported you through your golf journey?
I am fortunate enough to have an amazing support group when it comes to golf. My family and extended family have been supportive for a long time but notably, I would also like to add Carlos Brown who has been more than a coach, a mentor, to me who is always looking after me and has been a huge supporter of me and I always look forward to what we will achieve together in the future.
What professional player do you look up to the most and why?
I have to say that I look up to Hideki Matsuyama because he represents Japanese golfers and he was able to win the Masters under all the pressure of becoming the first Japanese Masters champion.
Do you like an audience or do you perform better with little/no pressure?
Love an audience, and love to play under pressure. Whether or not I play well under pressure is debatable but it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not nervous.