For The Tribune

For Ethan Ashley, keeping composure is the most important aspect to achieving success on the golf course.

“Perseverance, I think, is the top thing in golf,” Ashley, a Seymour senior said. “You can do really well or you can do rather poorly. It’s just how you react to it. They combine everyone’s score together for the team score, but it’s just me playing the hole.

“I can’t blame someone else if I mess up. I like seeing what I can do, like if I can push my sand wedge to go this distance, or see if I can hit it over this tree. There are so many different ways you can play the same hole. I like that.”

Ashley began playing golf in sixth grade. He played in a few varsity matches his sophomore year and was a varsity regular the past two seasons.

He has switched between the number three and four positions this past spring.

“There is a big jump between one and three, but I think three and four are similar,” Ashley said. “I’d say I’m fairly accurate off the tee. It doesn’t go very far, but I can usually put it where I want it. My chipping is pretty satisfactory. My putting has got a lot better this year. Coach (Tyler) Lewis helped a lot.”

Ashley shot his lowest scores at Otis Park, with a 39 on the back nine, and an 88 for 18.

He said the toughest course for him is the Indiana University course, where the Bloomington North Invitational was conducted in mid-May, and where the sectional was again this year.

“The fairways are very narrow,” Ashley said. “There are a lot of trees, but if you are in a good position it’s pretty nice, but it’s a really long course. Your second shot is really essential.“

Like many golfers, Ashley has focused on maintaining his consistency on the links.

“I would like to consistently shoot in the low to mid 80s, about 85, Ashley said. “Practice was very important. Usually we played nine, and then whatever needed the most work. I’ll do that after practice. If I leave my putts short or whatever I’ll go to the putting green.”

The Owls changed coaches this spring, and the senior has enjoyed playing for coach Jim Hoffman.

“I really like Hoffman,” Ashley said. “He’s nice, very knowledgeable.”

This spring, Ashley was the only senior on the team.

As an upperclassman, Ashley worked with younger golfers.

“I tell them what I know,” Ashley said. “I’ve played more courses or some of the same courses as the freshmen, and I can tell them the lay out and stuff.”

One of the advantages to playing golf, for Ashley is traveling to different courses.

“I like away matches because you go play different courses,” Ashley said. “Shadowood is a really nice course, but going and trying new things — that’s fun.”

Because of the spring weather, Ashley had to make adjustments to his game.

“You just have to take weather into consideration if it rains and hit it harder on the green, and get it to roll,” Ashley said. “You can plug the ball if you hit it too high, and take into consideration if it is dry and the ball will roll further.

“Golf is not going to change, but you have to adapt to different courses, different conditions, and all sorts of stuff.”

In an individual sport like golf, having a strong mental approach is key.

“You’ve got to keep your composure,” Ashley said. “If you have one bad hole, you’ve got to keep it to one bad hole instead of turning it into four bad holes.”

At a glance

Name: Ethan Ashley

Parents: Scott and Melissa Ashley

Sibling: Sylvia

Sports: Golf 4 years

Athletic highlights: Most improved 2013

Favorite away course: The Legends (Franklin)

Organizations: band, National Honor Society, French Club

Plans after high school: Attend Purdue, major in history

Favorite food: crab

Favorite TV show: “The O’Reilly Factor”

Favorite musicians: Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis

Favorite movie: “Gettysburg”

Favorite book Southern Storm: Sherman’s March to the sea, by Noah Andre Trudeau

Favorite quote: “Hold fast to the bible. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civil action and to this we must look as our guide to the future,” – Ulysses S. Grant.