ORFORDVILLE, Wis.—Trey Oswald didn’t have much interest in golf.
Before he lived next to a golf course, that is.
His father’s job took the family to Kentucky, and the home they lived in had a golf course in the backyard.
“A few friends of mine convinced me to go out and start playing about four and a half years ago,” Oswald said. “I really liked it right away. You could hit a bunch of bad shots every time, but then you hit that one perfect shot that keeps you coming back. I just loved the challenge of it right away.”
The Parkview High School athlete has gone from a pre-teen trying to get a feel for the game to a junior who has a consistent command of his abilities, as proven by his qualification for the WIAA Division 3 state meet, to be held beginning Monday at Trappers Turn in Wisconsin Dells.
He got there by shooting a 77, good for third place, at Wednesday’s sectional meet held at Prairie du Chien High School.
“I was happy with how I played, but at the same time it was a little frustrating,” Oswald said. “I’ve been driving the ball really well lately, and at the sectional meet I hit 14 of 18 fairways, which is the best I’ve ever done. That’s a short course, too, so all I had left was wedges to the green, but I just didn’t capitalize on it like I should have.”
Clinton senior Daniel Romano, who competed against Oswald in several meets as the two were always near the top, shot an 84 to just miss out on qualifying for the Division 2 meet.
“We talked for a long time after that,” Oswald said. “Daniel told me that I was going to be nervous, but just to lean into that a little bit instead of being scared by it. I know he was really disappointed because he missed by just a stroke, and his advice really helped me out a lot.”
Oswald said he’s benefitted greatly from the tutelage of Travis Becker, a pro at the Ironworks Golf Academy in Beloit.
“He’s really helped my game get to a new level,” Oswald said. “Once a month, or once every two weeks, I meet with him and we work on something new. He’ll tell you what to improve on, and he’ll break out the Trackman and show you the numbers. It’s just a different level. He’ll tell you what the players on the tour are doing with their swings, and there’s just a lot of trust there.”
Becker divides his time on the links between Bass Creek in Orfordville and the Beloit Club as his home courses, staying local when he can but heading to Beloit when he needs more of a challenge.
His goal is to play collegiate golf, and he knows what he needs to do in order to accomplish that.
“My average was about 78 this year, and next year I need to bring that down to a 75 or so,” Oswald said. “That starts with the short game, because that’s where all the strokes are.”