Talking with the stars

This profile on golfer Joe Rosenthal is the fourth in a series on the star athletes at Malibu High School who will return next season. To see past stories in the series, go to and type “Talking with the stars” in the advanced archives section.

By Sam Rubinroit / Special to The Malibu Times

With spectacular seasons this school year from several Malibu High School teams, it is easy to overlook the individual sports. But on the golf course, junior Joe Rosenthal is hard to ignore. He has won Player of the Year honors in each of his three seasons on the team and he plays for three junior tours outside school. This season, Rosenthal finished second in league individuals for Malibu High, earning him first team all-league honors. He also advanced to the CIF finals for Southern California, finishing among the top 50 players in Southern California after shooting rounds of 74, 71 and 77.

Q: What drew you to the sport of golf?

A: My father started his golf business, the Bobby Jones Golf Co., around four or five years ago, and I have been in love with the game ever since.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of the game?


A: I don’t know if I have a favorite aspect of the game, but I would say the part I love the most is competing and how the game itself builds your character as a person.

Q: What has been the hardest part of the sport to master?

A: The hardest part of the game to master has definitely been the short game. That is the only part of my game that holds me back at times. The way to improve is to put in the hard work during practice to get better. There are so many different types of shots around the greens, and mastering them all is difficult.

Q: What advice would you give to someone just beginning to play?

A: Take lessons, because no one can teach themselves, not even the pros. And just play your game. Don’t expect too much out of yourself at first.

Q: What do you say to people who think golf is boring?

A: My answer to people who think golf is boring is that they either have no passion for the sport and don’t know how much fun it is to play, or that they are just embarrassed at how bad they are, so they blame it on the game, not themselves.

Q: How do you keep your cool after a bad shot?

A: My temper used to be bad in my early years with the sport.But over time, and with some help from my psychologist mother, I have learned to keep my cool, because it’s only one shot or one hole. I have still got 17 more of them to make it up.

Q: How competitive is it out on the course?

A: During tournaments, it is very competitive on the course. Sometimes, you can’t always notice the level of competition if you’re a spectator. However, I try not to play against the people I’m playing with in tournaments. I’m competing against the course and “Old Man Par.”

Q: Do you enjoy watching golf? Who’s your favorite tour player?

A: I love watching golf because its so interesting to see the decisions the pros make and what makes them so good. My favorite tour player has got to be Tiger Woods. He is incredible to watch and learn from. If everyone could understand what he has done and is doing in the sport, they would appreciate him much more, the way I do.

Q: Do you hope to play professionally one day?

A: It is my dream to play professional golf. However, I would like to tackle the task of playing in college first.

Q: A round of golf can take five or six hours. How do you balance practice with schoolwork?

A: Golf definitely interferes a lot with school and my social life as a high schooler. It is hard to get committed to doing your work after a long day on the course, but I have to tell myself that if I really want to play in college, it’s what I have to do. I travel a lot on the weekends to different tournaments and miss many Fridays at school.

Q: What do you see for the future of Malibu High golf?

A: I see a bright future for MHS golf. Over my time playing for the school, I have seen enormous improvements with the program and its players. I can only hope there are kids who will come in behind me, besides my brother, who are passionate about the game and make my beloved Shark golf team proud. I am also hoping we can continue to raise money for the golf green we hope to build at the school so we can include golf as part of P.E. and build the MHS golf program. The coaches are great and help build the camaraderie on the team.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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