Brownstown golfer strives for consistency, improvement

On most high school golf teams, the golfer who is the most consistent is probably going to be the one that fills the No. 1 position.

Lance Hackman says by playing consistently he was able to play the No. 1 position for the Brownstown Central golf team this spring.

“I’ve improved overall,” Hackman said. “I see myself hitting a lot more greens this year, and saving par I’m able to shoot lower scores this year.”

The senior’s low rounds in high school golf were 35 (nine holes) at Westwood (Scottsburg) and 77 (18 holes) in the sectional at the Indiana University course in 2014.

Hackman began playing golf in middle school, and his first coach was his father, Matt.

“My dad taught us how to play when we were younger, and then I started to play on the sixth-grade team, and then we got progressively competitive when we played in the summer in the junior golf tour,” Hackman said.

“My sister, Allyson, and me would play in the summer all the time and challenge each other.”

During the school year, Lance Hackman signed to play golf at Indiana University East at Richmond.

Allyson recently completed her second season playing at Cleveland State, and she made the all-conference team in the Horizon League.

“Probably the best part about playing golf is the reward it gives you because I practice all the time during the summer,” Hackman said. “It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s really good to see the benefits you get from it.

“It’s a tough game, and everybody that plays golf knows it. Whenever you succeed at it, it’s even greater.”

On average, Hackman’s distance off the tee is 285 yards, and he said he thinks he is accurate with his drives. This past season, he thought his irons improved,” he said.

“I’ve actually chipped in three or four this year,” Hackman said. “I’ve chipped pretty well. Aside from a five-putt at Otis Park, it’s been pretty good.

“You always want to start good. It definitely gives you a good confidence boost, especially on the tougher holes. If you do start out really bad, you still have to believe you can still salvage the round and go good.”

The Braves play their varsity matches at Hickory Hills in Brownstown.

“Hickory Hills always offers a tough challenge even for home matches,” Hackman said. “We play there every day, but it’s always tough. Probably (the toughest) is No. 3. Par 5, long, hilly and narrow. Even if hit the fairway I almost never hit the green just because it plays longer, and the green is probably the toughest green to putt on. I always struggle to save par.”

For Hackman, golf has been more than just athletics.

“Golf has taught me a lot of discipline over the years, a lot of patience too, and perseverance,” Hackman said. “You just stick with it. In golf, the mental game is 90 percent of the game, and talent is 10 percent.

“The first step in anything you have to believe in yourself. There are a lot of great players out there that don’t have any confidence and they never get there.”

During his high school career, Hackman’s confidence rose as he climbed up the ladders.

“I’ve started to get it the last two years, and I’m starting to get it,” Hackman said. “You have to know the fundamentals, and you can’t just show up at an invitational and expect to do well. In order to gain confidence you have to practice a lot.”

At a glance

Name: Lance Hackman

Parents: Debra McClellan, Matthew Hackman

Siblings: Jordyn, Allyson

Sports: Golf, four years

Athletics highlights: All-conference 2013, 2014, 2015; regional qualifier 2014; Tribune Player of Year 2013, 2014.

Favorite away course: Harrison Lake

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University East, play golf

Favorite food: Chicken Alfredo

Favorite TV show: “The Walking Dead”

Favorite band: AC/DC

Favorite movie: “Tin Cup”

Favorite athlete: Phil Mickelson

Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys

Favorite book: “Harry Potter”

Favorite quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris Bueller

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.