PUTTING IN THE WORK: Braves golfer climbs to the top over 4 years of play

To say Brayton Hattabugh has spent a lot of time on golf courses the last seven years is an understatement.

“I started before (playing on middle school team) because my dad was the middle school coach, so I played with him,” he said. “He’ll help me any time I need him out there, and I like the competition, the father-son competition every time we play.”

The Brownstown Central grad enjoyed the practices and home matches at Hickory Hills Golf Club.

All of that practice time and hard work paid off for Hattabaugh, who went from not lettering as a freshman to playing No. 5 his sophomore year to being the Braves’ No. 1 player the past two years.

The past two springs, he earned All-Mid-Southern Conference honors.

Hattabaugh said he had more confidence hitting off of a tee with a club other than his driver.

“I wasn’t that accurate with my driver, but I got pretty good distance,” he said.

He listed his irons as the strongest part of his game.

“My irons were really good this year,” Hattabaugh said. “My putting was a lot better. I just bought a new putter.”

Hattabaugh said his lowest score at Hickory Hills was a 40, which he recorded as a junior.

“My favorite hole is probably No. 3, the par-5,” he said. “No. 1 is the hardest for me because it’s a long par 4. There are trees lining both sides.”

He said his favorite away course is Cascades in Bloomington.

“It’s a course that fits me really well, and that’s where I shot my best tournament score this year (74),” Hattabaugh said. “It was the first time I ever broke 80.”

He said he enjoyed playing with a Center Grove golfer that day. Center Grove is the No. 1 team in the state.

He also broke 80 when he shot 79 in the Mid-Southern Conference meet at Wooded View in Clarksville to earn All-MSC honors for the second time.

Hattabaugh said he tries to avoid all sand traps because of the different textures of sand.

“One course, like Hickory, it might be soft, and you go to the next course and it’s really hard and it’s hard to hit out of,” he said. “There’s no consistency”

He said practice is very important.

“Because one day, I can have really bad chips and I can go out and work on different chips and try to improve on that so I can shoot better the next round,” he said.

Hattabaugh looks forward to playing golf as an adult.

“It’s just a relaxing game that you can have fun with,” he said. “You can play golf pretty much all your life. You can’t play basketball when you’re old, but you can play golf your entire life.”

He said he enjoyed attending BCHS.

“It’s not a big school, so you know everyone here,” Hattabaugh said. “We always had fun on the way back from the away matches.

“I’ll remember my teammates and who I played with over the years, all the good golfers I played with. I’m thankful for John Olson, who has helped me over the years.”

Hattabaugh file

Name: Brayton Hattabaugh

School: Brownstown Central High School

Parents: Brent and Becca Hattabaugh

Sibling: Brooke

Sport: Golf, four years

Athletic highlights: 2017 and 2018 All-Mid-Southern Conference, BC most improved award

Organization: Choir

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University Kokomo and study sports management

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite TV show: “Full House”

Favorite movie: “Need for Speed”

Favorite athlete: Ricky Fowler