Plano Keeps Carding Solid Scores for the Easties
When Dom Plano first started playing golf three years ago, he dreamed of breaking 40 over nine holes. In his junior season with the East Haven golf team, Dom has achieved that goal and is seeing his passion for the sport grow every time that he steps on the course.
Dom he was introduced to golf by his grandfather Dave. Dom’s grandfather always told him about the golf leagues he was participating in, making Dom want to play the sport, too. Dom and his grandfather often went to Alling Memorial Golf Club to work on his game and, from there, Dom’s interest in the sport rapidly expanded.
“He really introduced me to it. He would talk to me about his leagues, and I wanted to try it out,” says Dom. “He took me to the course and the range. It all started there.”
Heading into his 8th-grade year at the East Haven Academy, Dom found a new playing partner in Nick Sorrentino, who is the Yellowjackets’ senior captain this season. Dom and Sorrentino played many rounds of golf together and, win or lose, they always had fun. Between the times that he spent on the links with both his granddad and his friend, Dom was immersed in the sport.
“He was the first friend that I had that was into golf. We would go and play, have a good time. We’d shoot 60s and 70s on nine holes, but we would still have a good time,” Dom says. “It doesn’t matter how good you are. You can still have a good time. That’s what got me into it.”
Dom’s freshman season was canceled two years ago, but he did play in a couple of charity tournaments—one for the East Haven hockey team and one for the Norwich firefighters—during the summer before he started high school. Dom enjoyed the competitive aspect of the sport, and that made him want to golf even more.
At the beginning of his sophomore season, Dom was inserted into the Yellowjackets’ lineup as the squad’s No. 5 golfer. Dom felt nervous since he was still new to the game, but he enjoyed his time on the course, and started to lower his scores as the season unfolded.
“It was different at first, but I liked it. It was pretty fun to get out there and just be competitive,” says Dom. “I was a little bit nervous, but as I started playing more, it got more fun, and I was also getting better, which was good.”
Now a junior, Dom is serving as the No. 4 golfer in East Haven’s lineup and began the season shooting in the low 50s. Following every round, Dom started to see his scores drop more and more, showing him how much better he was getting.
On May 5, the Yellowjackets hosted Sheehan at Alling Memorial Golf Club and came away with a 179-181 victory to improve to 7-2. Dom earned medalist honors by shooting a low score of 38 for the day. The performance marked the best score that Dom had ever shot, helping him accomplish a goal that he had set the first time he picked up a club.
“It was a big goal for me,” Dom says. “I hit a really good drive on the first hole. I had a nice wedge shot and tap-in for birdie. After that first hole, I knew I could potentially hit my lowest. I just really dialed in and thought about my next shot. Even when I hit a bad one, I just thought of the next.”
Dom’s quest for breaking 40 became more serious following his sophomore season. After getting a taste of varsity action last year, Dom aspired for more as a junior. Dom, his older brother Rocco, and their friends spent a lot time playing golf. He went as often as he could. Dom concentrated on every shot and kept working hard to return to the clubhouse with a score of less than 40.
“When I first picked up and started swinging, it came naturally to me. I was making contact with the ball. But I was shooting in the 60s,” says Dom. “Sophomore year, I took it more seriously and I got to the mid 40s. Last summer, I played a lot with my brothers and our friends. I just tried to break 40. That’s all I wanted to do. I just kept working, and I could tell I was getting better.”
Head Coach Rick Narracci took note of all the hard work that Dom put in heading into the season. Narracci says that Dom always finds a way to persevere and stay calm no matter how his round is going.
“Dom is the hardest worker on the team. He approaches every range session and every practice as an opportunity to get better,” Narracci says. “He remains very even-keeled, which is a great attribute for every golfer to have.”
As he moves forward, Dom’s goals are to keep lowering his scores and correct the small mistakes. As he continues working hard to reach his potential, Dom feels happy that he gets to share the golf course with his closest friends and family.
“It really means a lot to me. It’s nice to get out there and have some fun with your friends,” says Dom. “Even if you’re not a great golfer, you can still have fun. That’s what made me enjoy it. It means a lot to play with my family and friends and stay connected. It’s a great sport.”