In an effort to live up to the expectations that come with his name, Hogan Lovelady spends every moment he can on the green.
“You’ve got to be good at golf if you’re named after Ben Hogan,” the Marion High School senior said.
Lovelady spends between 30 and 40 hours per week practicing and perfecting his swing at the Marion Country Club golf course. Just like his namesake, Lovelady takes a “never give up” approach to the sport. Even when the sun is high in the sky, and the mercury starts to rise, Lovelady is out on the green, hoping to improve his golfing skills.
“It helps to stay hydrated — anything to keep your energy up,” he said. “I bring Gatorade out there with me, and some granola bars.”
Many agree that his hard work has already paid off. In the regional tournament, held in Marion last week, Lovelady scored well individually, qualifying him to go to the state tournament in Seneca Monday. There he tied with five other students in 28th place with a total of 86 points.
Lovelady said he had a large cheering section at the tournament, explaining that many of his family members were in attendance — even ones as far away as Wichita.
“That’s a four-hour trip for them,” he said. “It makes you try even harder when you have all that support. It’s a little nerve-wracking; you don’t want to disappoint all those people. But I know I’ll be OK as long as I hit it straight and keep it on the green. You just have to take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down.”
Lovelady said his family has always been there to give him the support and encouragement needed to always strive to be the best in everything — and, especially in his golf game. Lovelady said most of his inspiration came from his father, who has professional golf experience.
“Some things are just in your blood,” he said.
Lovelady said he looks forward to the day when he might be able to play in college. Right now, Lovelady is planning on attending Butler Community College and will be majoring in education.
While BCC does not have a golf team, Lovelady hopes that after his initial two years at the junior college, he will be able to transfer to a school with a golf program.