Golfers in the rough

Most people who play golf prefer one part of the game over the others. Some like driving while others like putting.

Seymour High School senior Thomas Hoffmeier likes everything about the sport.

“I enjoy every part, the thrill through the process, the feeling when you hit that great shot,” he said. “I like the noise the cup makes when you sink the ball.”

So Hoffmeier is missing everything about not playing high school golf this spring. Ordinarily, he and his Seymour teammates would be putting and driving at this time of year.

Instead, with the prohibition in place banning in-classroom instruction in public schools and all spring high school sports competition due to the COVID-19 infectious virus, the closest thing to the game the players can get is watching golf tournament re-runs on television.

Shadowood is the home course for the Owls, and Hoffmeier said he enjoys playing there.

“Home matches at Shadowood feel very comfortable, and give you an extra confidence boost that you know where to go and how to play each hole,” he said. “My favorite away course is Champions Pointe (in Henryville). It is a very difficult course that I just seemed to click to.”

Hoffmeier, who plans to attend Ivy Tech in the fall, says the strongest part of his game “has always been my chipping and driving.”

His lowest 9-hole score is 42 and his 18-hole low is 92.

“My favorite tournament performance has to be last year during a home match when I earned medalist,” he said.

Hoffmeier’s teammate, Chayse Shell, who previously played for Brownstown Central, said he takes the knowledge he gains from practice and puts it to good use in his matches.

“I enjoy that I know how to play (Shadowood) that I play there so much,” Shell said. “I know where every break is in the greens, and I know where to hit the ball.”

His low scores have been 43 for nine holes and 91 for 18.

Shell said his favorite round came in an away match.

“When we played at the country club in Bloomington my score was counting since our No. 2 had to drop out and we placed fifth, he said.

Shell definitely made it sound as if golf is a mental game.

“I enjoy the patience of the game and how you have to think about every shot and plan ahead,” he said, “and my coaches made it so much more enjoyable, especially when you had a bad round and can’t think.”

Shell expressed his gratitude to his coaches for letting him be part of the team and for all the things they have taught him.

Jackson Nay said he likes playing flat courses.

“The best thing I enjoy about home matches at Shadowood is a flat course, and it is easier to play than the others in our conference. The greens are easy to read and are fast enough to make some long putts.”

The Owl senior says Champions Pointe is his favorite away course, and he said his low 9-hole score is a 45 he shot at Hickory Hills.

“My favorite tournament is the Seymour Invitational at Shadowood, and that is where I shot my 99 (lowest tournament score),” Nay said. “The best part of my game has always changed, but right now it is my putting.”

Nay, who plans to attend Purdue this fall, said he missed his teammates this spring.

“The best thing I love about golf is that you have a lot of teammates to be with and rely on, but it is more individualized (as a sport),” he said.

He feels the loss of the season this year in more ways than merely being out on the courses.

“The thing I miss the most is bonding with the friends I have made in practice on my team and friends I made with other people on other teams,” Nay said.


Seymour: Thomas Hoffmeier, Jason Nay, Chayse Shell