BREWSTER — Max St. Aubin stood on the putting green at The Captains Golf Course here wearing a black Nauset High hoodie and matching cap, his hair exploding outward and upwards from the back. Working on getting his ball to start on line, he’d stuck two tees in the ground, a gate for his putt to pass safely through. His team, meanwhile, was out on the course playing against Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School.
It was the first time the Nauset sophomore, who had been the number two and number three player before this match, had been left out of the lineup this season. “I’ve learned that I’m not going to shoot well every match, and I’m going to have bad days,” he said, “but you’ve just got to bounce back.”
St. Aubin, who lives in Brewster, posted a career-best even-par 36 in the Warriors’ win over Martha’s Vineyard on Sept. 19, two shots clear of teammate Jack Martin. He turned in a 78 in an 18-hole round at the Vineyard Golf Club High School Invitational, where he helped the four-man Nauset team place fourth overall in a field that included the 2021 MIAA Division 2 state champions from Bishop Stang. He has hovered around a 41 average this season, his worst 9-hole score being a 49 at Cape Cod Academy.
“Max has been the surprise of the season so far,” said Nauset boys golf head coach Brian Hicks.
Having seen Martin’s success as a freshman, Hicks is not new to surprises from his team. On the Vineyard, St. Aubin played in the same group as Bishop Stang senior Matthew Costello, who is a UConn commit. “To be able to be in those situations and to perform well, it speaks to his toughness,” Hicks said. “He showed that he can maybe be one of those kids that helps us make the leap.”
St. Aubin doesn’t show a lot of emotion out on the golf course — nor in an interview. He parses his words and seems barely to have a pulse. In his first varsity match, he stuck a shot from 130 yards out to about three feet from the pin at the difficult dogleg par-4 4th hole at the Captains Port Course. Nice shot. He shrugged his shoulders and then proceeded to roll in the birdie putt.
On the team’s trip to the Vineyard, Hicks said, he finally saw St. Aubin get really excited about his performance: “He knew he had done a great job.”
In spite of his affect, St. Aubin’s game shows flashes of brilliance. He plays with a ton of confidence — especially considering he has just started to get into golf over the last 12 months.
In that time, St. Aubin has played a lot of golf.
“It’s relaxing,” he says with his usual nonchalance. “It’s a sport where you can just go out and have fun. You can slow things down. You get a lot of patience out of this sport, and I never really had that before.”
St. Aubin’s older brother, Seamus, was on Nauset teams that were state finalists in 2019 and 2021. Max hopes to help the Warriors maintain that level of play and even eclipse it by winning the program’s first South Sectional Championship since 2016.
That’s a lot of pressure, he allowed. “But I’m happy to grow with this team,” he said.
For now, it’s patience. Next on the tee.