Following a self described rough season, sophomore golf Cali Brockway seems to have found her footing with a few tips from a local golf pro and a new mantra during crucial strokes.
Brockway recently finished11th at the Lady Crusader Invitational Tournament in Glen Rose and has steadily increased her position with each tournament.
“Playing a lot of golf has really helped. Getting a lot of rounds in and practicing as much as I can,” Brockway said. “I’m really proud of it. I took my freshman year and worked with Jimmy Tidwell at the Brownwood Country Club. He really fixed my swing and has been helping me ever since. I took my freshman year as a building year and in my sophomore year I am hoping it all comes together.”
After graduating from North Forney High School, Brockway said transitioning from 5A high school girls to NCAA Division III college golf was not easy. Along with increased distances came the dramatically increased skill level and she struggled with conditioning and keeping up with players four years her senior.
“It was a rough season. It was an up and down year, good and bad. Going from high school golf to college golf you add 1,000 yards overall,” Brockway said. “Distance-wise, it was an eye opener. I wasn’t used to walking three days of 18 holes in a row so the conditioning was different. It was a lot more competitive here, especially score-wise. If you wanted to do well, then you have to get your score down. In high school, if you’re shooting in the high 80s or mid 90s then you’re doing pretty good.”
In regard to conditioning, Brockway ran a mile at least every other day or just walked an 18-round golf course during the week. At the beginning of the 2018 season, Brockway said she was up to walking an 18-hole course, clubs in tow, at least five days a week. In regard to skills, she left that to Tidwell – and a lot of practice.
“My swing was not terrible, but there was a lot that needed to be fixed,” Brockway said. “He really had me paying attention to the details and, when I don’t hit a shot right, what I did wrong and learning from that. And really grinding out my short game – anything around the green, chipping and putting, that has really helped my score.”
Above all, Brockway attributes her dramatic improvement to her newfound philosophy on the links. She says she often looks to a Bible verse, Colossians 3:23, which she said inspires her to do her best, not for victory, but for God. She said it was her mother, Karen Brockway, that inspired her shift in mentality.
“‘Whatever you do, do with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.’ I really leaned on that,” Brockway said. “It was definitely a lot different from my approach last year. Last year, it was hop it and survive. I really want to do something this year and hopefully I accomplish those goals. Whenever I go into a tournament, I pray before my first tee shot. I say ‘Lord I play for you and I hope I can shine your light in the way I present myself to other girls and that they see you through me.’”