Clear Creek Amana’s Brandon McCarty was happy but not satisfied with last season’s finish.
He had the same attitude to start this spring when he earned medalist honors in a dual against South Tama.
The all-Wamac Conference golfer recognizes the positives to build on, but identifies the situations he could have improved, staying humble and working hard to be his best.
“My parents tell me not to get too high,” McCarty said. “You have to look forward and keep improving.”
McCarty has become one of the state’s top returning golfers after tying for eighth at the Class 3A state meet last season. He is just one of a dozen top-10 state finishers in all three classes back from a year ago.
The goal is to qualify again, claim a state medal and help his team along the way.
“Last year he started off slow and got better as the season went on, which was a good sign,” said Clippers Coach Chad McCarty, who is Brandon’s dad. “He’s just got to play his own game and trust it. Build on the results he had last year going forward.”
His season-ending performance was motivation for the offseason. He devoted his time to the course, preferring to play practice rounds rather than compete in tournaments.
“Toward the end of the high school season, my driver deserted me, so this summer I tried to work on that,” the younger McCarty said. “Just going to the chipping green. I’ve been struggling with that recently.”
Chad said distance off the tee is no longer an issue thanks to some growth spurts that have Brandon coming in around 5-foot-11. The focus is on his short game and fine-tuning his game. Brandon is willing to put in the effort because he has owned a passion for golf since his dad introduced him to the game.
“He’s loved the game since he could walk,” Chad said. “He’s played it for 13 or 14 years, always swinging a golf club. He’s got the drive. It’s just the matter of doing the things necessary and quit making the same mistakes he has the first two seasons.”
The season started with a 37, beating the runner-up by five strokes. He averaged a little more than 39 per nine holes last year.
“I had some positives with some negatives,” McCarty said. “I made some putts but also had a few dumb mistakes that cost me after making those birdies.
“It was an OK first meet.”
The McCarty name is well known in golf circles. Chad was on four straight Class 2A state title teams for West Branch. His brother, Sean, was on three of those teams and a three-time state individual medalist.
Brandon recalled using his dad’s clubs as a youth learning to golf. He had to swing it backward since he was left-handed and his dad was a righty.
Chad and Brandon have shared good memories. They balance the roles of father/son and player/coach.
“I like it,” Brandon said. “He knows my game just about as much as I do. Right now, he can help me any time as a coach.”
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