Matt Doyle and his father Mike have created a bond that’s inseparable through their experience together on the golf course. Matt started golfing with his father at an early age and quickly developed a love for the sport, sending him on a journey that saw him become one of the top golfers in Hand history.
Matt recently completed a decorated career with the Hand boys’ golf team. Matt enjoyed a historic season alongside his fellow Tigers while leading the team as a senior captain this spring.
“I started playing golf when I was four years old, but I didn’t take it seriously until I was 12. My dad really got me into the game,” Matt says. “He’s been the biggest influence on my game. He was with me when I just started learning, and he’s been going to every one of my tournaments since I started golfing.”
After helping Hand post a regular-season record of 15-0, Matt earned medalist honors with a low score of 70 for his 18-hole round at the SCC Championship, where the Tigers finished second behind Fairfield Prep by just one stroke. Then at the Division II State Championship, Matt shot a five-under-par score of 67 to once again collect medalist honors and guide the Tigers to a first-place finish that marked their second-straight state title. Matt finished his high school career having earned All-SCC and All-State accolades in every season that he competed for the team.
“This high school season was a success,” says Matt. “We won the regular-season title going undefeated and won the state championship. I had the lowest scoring average in the state and won the state championship and conference championship individually, as well.”
Matt’s success on the links goes beyond what he’s accomplished with the Tigers. Matt’s play has also helped him gain national recognition as he is ranked in the top 60 among all junior golfers in the world. Matt finished in first place at the Connecticut Junior Amateur Championship last summer and then came in second place at that event this year.
Matt’s average score is nearly four-under-par. He typically puts in anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of practice time on the golf course each day.
“I started playing in tournaments later than most kids, so I had some ground to make up, but I was able to eventually. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really broke out on the national level and realized what I was capable of,” Matt says. “My eventual goal is to be successful on the PGA Tour. Playing golf on the course is how I work to improve. It gives me better results than working on drills at the range.”
Hand Head Coach Jim Holleran says that Matt has left an indelible mark on his program. Coach Holleran lauds Matt for displaying great determination during the 2021 season, especially after Hand came up just shy of winning the SCC title.
“Matthew was a great player and leader for our team this year. He had a fantastic work ethic, and his effort and determination to excel were contagious on our team. He gave us outstanding play every match and set the tone for our players on and off of the course,” says Holleran. “Matthew gave his best effort every day, despite dealing with physical pain on a regular basis. His leadership and commitment to excellence led our team to a great season. His presence will surely be missed next season.”
Matt has forged a strong relationship with Coach Holleran throughout the past several years. Matt says that Holleran started supporting him before he even joined the Tigers.
“My relationship with Coach Holleran is great. He’s been supporting me since before I got to high school,” says Matt. “He comes out to some of my tournaments when they are in Connecticut. He’s very invested in my success.”
Matt will continue his career at the Division I level when he competes for the men’s golf squad at Elon University in North Carolina. On the heels of an outstanding run at Hand, Matt feels excited about getting an opportunity to golf in college.
“I look forward to teeing it up for Elon University this fall,” says Matt. “Our team is looking very good this upcoming season, and I look forward to being a part of the team’s success. Our goal is to win a conference championship and make it to regionals and nationals.”