Soon after he started playing golf in the sixth grade, Brownstown Central’s Lance Hackman knew he wanted to continue hitting the links far past high school.
On Friday, Hackman’s dream became a reality as he signed to play on the Indiana University East men’s golf team.
Surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches, Hackman officially joined the Red Wolves.
“I look forward to the competition, joining a new team, and getting better,” Hackman said. “It was always my ambition to play college golf. It’s really a dream come true for me, it made my whole senior season a lot better.”
Hackman has played all four years on the Braves under coach Brandon Allman, who started coaching in 2011.
“Lance’s work ethic will carry him a long way,” Allman said. “He’s a kid who loves the game of golf and is always working to get better. His mental approach to the game is strong, he doesn’t show his emotion on his sleeve. There isn’t any aspect where he’s bad, I would say his short game is his strongest facet.”
Hackman is the first golfer to serve under Allman for four years and join a collegiate team from Brownstown.
“He’s one of my first kids I’ve had from freshman to senior year,” Allman said. “My three seniors have been really special to me being on the team all four years. To have (Hackman) be able to sign is really nice.”
The senior said he looked into NAIA and NCAA Division II schools to play golf, as that’s where he thought he’d fit in best.
Following a visit, and speaking with second-year Red Wolves coach John Gordon, Hackman knew he wanted to attend East.
The Red Wolves split time at Elks Lodge and Country Club in Richmond and Liberty Country Club in Liberty while playing several away tournaments.
East, located in Richmond, is a part of the NAIA’s Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Gordon said Hackman will has a strong chance at cracking the top five next spring.
“Part of the game is just being a golfer and being smart,” Gordon said. “There are two types of people who golf: one’s who worry about the swing and others, who are golfers, who worry about scoring. He’s a golfer. He can get the ball in the hole.”
For Gordon, finding a player like Hackman is a dream.
“He’ll be a strong player. I’m looking forward to good things out of him,” Gordon said. “He’s just a great kid. He loves golf and his grades are awesome. It’s a coach’s dream.”
Hackman will have until Aug. 1, when he starts practicing with the Red Wolves, to prepare for college competition.
“I hope to get better in preparation for college golf by making it out of sectionals,” Hackman said. “I’m going to play summer tournaments. Last summer I delved into some traveling tournaments. I want to play some of the bigger, two-day tournaments.”