Strong drive: Golfer’s extra practice pays off

Cory Stuckwisch’s goal going into his junior golf season at Trinity Lutheran was to be the No. 1 player for the Cougars.

In order to achieve that goal, he knew it was going to take a lot of work outside of the spring season.

So, Stuckwisch played on the Indiana Golf Association Mountain Dew tour all over the state.

“I played in a lot of those after my sophomore and junior years,” Stuckwisch said. “I worked hard my sophomore and junior years to improve my game, and it’s really paid off.”

Stuckwisch was named No. 1 last spring, and returns as the Cougars’ top golfer in 2017.

Playing in the top spot, Stuckwisch tries to improve his game by watching others play.

“Every golfer I’ve played with has different skills, and I’ve watched them play and I’ve watched how some of them drive well, some of them have a really good short game, and some of them have really good iron skills so I tried to pick up what they did well and apply it to my game so I could improve on each side,” Stuckwisch said.

On the links, Stuckwisch feels his driving is one of his strongest assets.

“They’re usually in the fairway somewhere. My average drive is probably around 280 (yards),” Stuckwisch said.

“I’ve improved a whole lot with my irons. I’m striking the ball a whole lot better. My accuracy is on point most of the time. I can change my shot and I can usually throw a high or low ball in there depending on how the green is positioned and where the pin is. My putting is on and off. It’s the hardest part of the game.””

During competition, Stuckwisch likes the long holes.

“I’m actually comfortable playing the par 5s most of the time,” Stuckwisch said. “My length will usually get me there in three or I’ll have a pretty easy putt for birdie.”

He said his low round at Shadowood is 36 strokes, and he said he shot 35 during one of the summer tournaments he played in.

His low 18-hole score is the school-record 73 he shot at New Castle last season, and his low for 18 at Shadowood is 77.

“I like the tournaments on Saturdays the best,” Stuckwisch said. “I like to play a whole round. There is more competition.”

He helped the Cougars break the school record (328) by winning the Rising Sun Invitational earlier this season, and also set the mark on nine holes at Brownstown on Monday (157).

Stuckwisch, whose favorite away course is Champions Pointe (Henryville), said you continually have to adjust to the wind.

“Depending on how quick it is, you have to throw in a lower ball,” he said. “The wind won’t take it as much, and you kind of have to have experience with it too. If the wind is to your back, if you’re approaching the green you try not to hit is as hard as you can. You try to guess it to where you can land it.”

The senior started playing golf in fifth grade at Immanuel Lutheran School.

He said confidence is key in golf.

“The mental game in golf is probably one of the most important things,” Stuckwisch said. “You’ve got to stay positive about your game. If you bogey a hole you have to shake it off and say ‘I’ve got to make it up here.’ You always try your best on every shot.”

He said he wants to place first in more tournaments heading into the sectional, and he wants to be playing best golf at the end of the season.

The sectional is at the Indiana University course.

“It’s not one of my favorites, but I think it’s not one of my favorites because it’s kind of difficult, so it’s challenged me to score well,” Stuckwisch said. “There are tree lines on both sides of the fairways so you’re going to have to hit it straight every time.”

Stuckwisch has enjoyed attending Trinity Lutheran High School.

“I’ve made a lot of new friends, and the teachers hare are really nice,’ Stuckwisch said. “They help us in a respectful way. They know how to treat students the way they should be treated.”

Stuckwisch file

Name: Cory Stuckwisch

School: Trinity Lutheran

Parents: Barry and Becky Stuckwisch

Sibling: Kelly

Sports: golf 4 years, basketball manager 4 years

Athletic highlights: golf 2016 MVP, broke individual school record (73), team record for 18 (328) and 9-holes (157).

Organizations: FFA

Plans after high school: attend IUPUC

Favorite food: chicken quesadillas

Favorite TV show: Gold Rush

Favorite musician: Rascal Flats

Favorite movie: The Other Guys

Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers

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