Weston Voices: Meet Zach Pelzar, WHS ’24 – State Medalist for Golf

As many of the Owl readers know, the Owl loves to write stories about our amazing next generation of Weston. From profiles of the seniors last spring, to highlights of talented artists, actors, students and athletes, I could write this stuff all day. Know a fantastic kid? The Owl is all ears.


I could summarize the things I know about golf in about 45 seconds. I know that Arnold Palmer is from Latrobe, Pennsylvania (why? why do I remember this trivia and can’t remember where the second set of keys is?), I know from Caddyshack that gophers are trouble to golfers–oh, and that the 80s were wildly inappropriate, and I know that I am pretty terrible at it. Yes, I’ve tried. No, I won’t try again.

Who is not terrible at it is Weston High School junior Zach Pelzar, winner last week of the Medalist prize at the MIAA Division 3 State golf tournament, and one of the six Wildcat players who combined to win the overall Division 3 state championship title (six went, top four finishers are counted). As usual, I have an issue with semantics and the use of “Medalist” to describe the winner of the overall championship. I would prefer the title “Champion” or “First Place Winner” or something like that. Call a spade a spade, golf, you give me a headache.

Back to Zach. Recent news coverage in the Boston Globe and Metrowest Daily News has been wonderful for both Zach and the Weston Golf Team. But these media have paywalls, and the Owl doesn’t. Yet. And being hyper-local takes on a whole new level here: Zach lives three houses away from the Owl but I have yet to pick up a single wayward golf ball in my yard. He’s that good.

Before chatting with Zach, The Owl caught up with WHS Golf Coach Mary O’Brien, who is celebrating her 20th year as the golf coach for Weston High School, for her thoughts about the Weston team and Zach in particular.

Owl: We’ve been pretty successful in golf as a town over time. What’s our overall record like?

Coach O’Brien: Weston has won 8 state titles in its golf program (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2022. The team also placed second twice in the state tournaments. Weston has had 6 players who were medalists at the Division 3 North Sectional tournament and 4 players who were medalists at the Division 3 State tournament.

You asked me what makes this team special. This team is unified, they care about one another and the upperclassmen encourage everyone to work hard and improve. They know that no team wins with just one player, depth is important to being a winning team.

Owl: What made the States such a great win for Weston?

Coach: While the sectional win was by a large margin (18 strokes), the state win was close, only 5 shots separated the team from Martha’s Vineyard. Zach played great but we needed the other three players to have strong rounds to secure the victory.

I am extremely proud of the players who represented Weston in the post-season and the entire team for their efforts in the regular season. The team won the DCL Foley Division with a 5-0 record. It is the 13th DCL title the team has won since 2008.

Owl: Tell us a bit about what you think makes Zach so valuable to the team.

Coach: Zach is very dedicated to practicing; he works very hard on his game. He also plays in numerous Challenge Cup and AJGA tournaments and has been successful at that level. He is a great leader and a good motivator to his teammates. He wants to make everyone around him better.

Zach, 2016

Yesterday, the Owl managed to track down Zach in Connecticut where he had just finished a practice round ahead of today’s New England Championships.

Owl: How did you feel going into States last week? Was there a moment you just knew you were going to win?

Zach: I was really confident that we were going to win because we played well at sectionals, but I knew we could all play better. I think we all felt good about our chances, and when the team is feeling good, I feel good. I never had a moment when I knew we were going to win until we won because I really had no idea how everyone else was playing. I was just hoping I wasn’t the only one playing well. 

Owl: How do you keep yourself calm in this high-stress game?

Zach: I focus a lot on my breathing and going through my pre-shot routine. I have to do my best not to get caught up in the result or how I’m playing and just focus on having fun playing golf. I also let my mind wander in between shots, which makes it easier to really focus when I need to. 

Owl: What was the most challenging hole for you out there?

Zach: My most challenging hole was my second hole, where I hit it in the woods and had to punch out. I was able to recover and save bogey, which was a good confidence builder. 

Owl: What’s next after the NE Championship?

Zach: After New Englands, I have a long break from tournaments. I won’t take any time off but just work toward improving for my next tournament, which will be the Doral Publix in Miami in December. 

Owl: Who are your role models?

Zach: I wouldn’t really say they are my role models, but I admire both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant greatly because of their work ethic. I look to them for inspiration. 

Always showing the joy in the game

Owl: What do you like about being on the WHS golf team?

Zach: Playing for my school has given me an opportunity to play the game that I love with some of my best friends, and I will forever be grateful for that. 


The Owl wishes Zach all the luck today–he will be teeing off for the Wildcats at 9:12 am at the New England Interscholastic Golf Championship in Connecticut.

Go ‘cats!

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