Sporting a bucket hat and a purple polo, his usual garb, Seymour junior Brady Marshall wears a wide smile as he makes his way down the fairway, his golf clubs clanking together on his back.
Marshall said he sees golf as a social sport, one that should be enjoyed, even if it’s competition when he’s in a group playing against rival schools.
But don’t let his cool, friendly demeanor fool you — Marshall can golf.
“Kids that play with him really like playing with him,” Owls coach Jim Hoffman said. “Kids from other schools, I see them interact with him. He’s a great playing partner. I just think it’s his demeanor. He’s really level-headed. He’s very encouraging and plays the sport like he’s supposed to. No matter how bad his round is, he encourages other people.”
Story continues below gallery
This past season, Marshall finished as medalist four times, including shooting a school-record 67 at the Jennings County Invitational at St. Anne’s on April 18.
At Otter Creek on May 16, Marshall was named Hoosier Hills Conference honorable mention by carding an 80.
Following a season of vast success, Marshall was able to make his first regional appearance by shooting a 77 at Indiana University Golf Course during sectional.
With his accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Marshall the 2015 Boys Golfer of the Year.
In 2014, Marshall admitted he played the worst sectional imaginable.
Fueled to improve and make it over the hump, Marshall put in long hours during the summer traveling to golf tournaments.
“He has high expectations,” Hoffman said. “I think he has set goals and he expects that out of himself, which is a good quality. I know he gets frustrated with his goals, but he works really hard to get them.”
Tournaments, paired with working with Seymour Country Club’s Rebecca Ward, who is a former LPGA touring professional and is the head instructor of golf, helped Marshall cut down on mistakes and extra strokes.
This season, Marshall averaged 77 on 18 holes, a major jump from his sophomore season.
“This year, it was completely about my short game,” Marshall said. “It was much better this year compared to the past. I improved five to eight strokes a round. That’s how much of a difference it made. Last year, I think my average was around 81 or 82.”
With just one senior on the Owls’ roster this past season and a slew of talented freshmen, the team needed the No. 1 golfer to take a larger leadership role.
“He’s a very hard worker,” Hoffman said of Marshall. “He became a good leader. Everyone looked up to him. He kept a level head and never got frustrated and worked through being either up or down. It was really enjoyable having him as a leader on the team.
“In golf, it’s a little different, but he’s very vocal and gets the kids excited from the team aspect. Other kids see his actions on the course. I got the best of both worlds.”
Marshall said he enjoyed working with first-year head coach Hoffman and assistant Tyler Lewis.
“Coach Hoffman and Lewis laid it out for me this season,” Marshall said. “They helped me but also let me figure out on my own. I think that really helped.”
One of the aspects of Marshall’s game that Hoffman highlighted was his ability to manage courses.
“His patience really improved, getting around the course,” Hoffman said. “His short game improved from start to finish. That was one of his biggest advantages. He worked hard on that.”
Lance Hackman//Brownstown Central//Senior
Nine- and 18-hole averages: 39/79
Honors: Six-time medalist, All-Mid-Southern Conference, Academic All-State honorable mention
Parker Criswell//Trinity Lutheran//Senior
Nine- and 18-hole averages: 40/77
Honors: Academic All-State honorable mention, 2015 Cougars MVP, school record in tournament round (75)
Levi Sweeney//Brownstown Central//Senior
Nine- and 18-hole averages: 40/81
Honors: Three-time medalist, All-MSC
Nine- and 18-hole averages: 43/88
Honors: Three-time medalist, tied nine-hole school record (37), 2015 Tigers MVP
Nine- and 18-hole averages: 40/79
Honors: Regional qualifier, two-time medalist
Chad Stuckwisch//Trinity Lutheran//Sophomore
Nine- and 18-hole averages: 43/86
Nine- and 18-hole averages: 57/83
Honors: Two-time medalist
All-County Boys Golfer of the Year
Nine-hole average: 40
18-hole average 77
Four-time medalist, including shooting a school-record 67 in the Jennings County Invitational
Hoosier Hills Conference honorable mention
“I just think it’s his demeanor. He’s really level-headed. He’s very encouraging and plays the sport like he’s supposed to. No matter how bad his round is, he encourages other people.” — Owls coach Jim Hoffman