Full swing ahead

Brownstown Central’s Levi Sweeney always look forward to getting off to a good start during a round of golf at Hickory Hills Golf Course.

At the Braves’ home course, Sweeney’s favorite hole is the first.

“No. 1 is actually the hardest hole out there, but it’s my favorite,” Sweeney said. “Probably my tee shots are the strongest part of my game. I have pretty good distance. My accuracy is all right, about half and half.”

As long as you can keep your drive in the fairway, you should be able to score well at Hickory Hills, according to Sweeney.

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On hole No. 4, there’s a water hazard.

While Sweeney hasn’t had trouble in the hole in the past, he looks to improve on a shaky offseason on the hole before the season commences. Aside from the recent difficulties on No. 4, Sweeney said the toughest hole is No. 3 because of the large hill.

Another facet of his game he looks to improve is his long irons.

 “I’ve been working on my irons the most, trying to get them straightened out,” Sweeney said. “After that I should be in pretty good shape. My short game is all right. My putting is pretty decent. Last year I was a pretty good sand player. I haven’t had much practice with it this year.”

One of the toughest parts of golf is keeping a strong mental game, for any golfer.

“Golf is relaxing, and it’s fun,” Sweeney said. “You just want to stay calm, but it doesn’t always work like that. I try to keep my head. I get off of that every now and then.”

Sweeney said you’ve got to keep your composure all the time you are on the course.

“You’ve got to keep calm,” he said. “You can get too worked up over bad things, a bad shot or something like that. Keep your head.”

During the inconsistent weather in the spring, Sweeney is able to make adjustments in his game to where he doesn’t let wind bother him.

“It’s pretty easy for me to play in the wind,” he said. “The wind really doesn’t bother me too much. You have to hit low.”

Last Spring, Sweeney played No. 1 for the Braves and earned all-Mid Southern Conference honors as the Braves went on to qualify for the regional.

His lowest 18-hole score was the 76 he shot in the Mid-Southern Conference meet, at Clarksville last spring. He said his lowest 9-hole score in a match is 37, and he shot a 34 during a practice round.

Par at the Brownstown course is 35, and that’s always the goal when Sweeney takes the course.

The Braves will open their golf season in tournament-play at the Seymour Invitational at Shadowood on April 4.

“I like the tournaments the best,” Sweeney said. “If you have a bad front nine you have the back nine to improve. You get used to walking 18 holes. I like the cold weather. You don’t get tired and you don’t sweat as much.”

Sweeney began playing golf at Brownstown Central Middle School. His cousin, Kristopher Curry took him out in the fifth grade, and he’s played ever since.

Heading into the season, the Braves lost one senior that played in last year’s top-five scorers. With a number of strong returning golfers, Sweeney, in his fourth year on the team, expects the team to have a successful season.

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Name: Levi Sweeney

Parents: Brian and LeAnn Sweeney

Sibling: Brittany

Sports: golf 4 years

Athletic highlights: 2014: All-Mid-Southern Conference first team, helped Braves qualify for regional.

Favorite away course: Bloomington (Indiana University’s course), Wooded View (Clarksville), Otis Park (Bedford)

Plans after high school: undecided

Favorite food: spaghetti and meatballs

Favorite TV shows: Daniel Boone

Favorite singer/musician: Garth Brooks

Favorite movie: Step Brothers