Matt York made some slight changes to his swing, and it has paid off in his senior season.
York is playing in the No. 1 spot for the Grandview Heights High School boys golf team, which is seeking its third consecutive berth to the Division III district tournament.
The Bobcats compete in a sectional Sept. 28 at Turnberry. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 4 at Denison Golf Club at Granville.
"I have a new swing this year, which is why I'm more consistent on my irons," said York, whose average has dropped from 82 last season to 79. "My swing has changed because instead of going farther inside, I have been trying to swing more right to left. Now I feel like I'm coming across the ball because my swing was so far from the inside that I would draw or hook it too much. When I feel like I'm swinging it right to left, I have more or less a square swing path and I have less misses."
York had a 78 average in the first two rounds of MSL-Ohio Division play. He shot 79 in the preseason tournament Aug. 8 at Cumberland Trail and 77 in the midseason tournament Aug. 26 at Turnberry. The postseason tournament was Sept. 18 at Westchester.
"When Matt's good, he's really good," coach Kevin Richards said. "He can shoot 75 on any given course, and I don't think that was the case last year.
"Matt thrives on competition. In the preseason and midseason (league) tournaments, I asked (tournament officials if) he could play with better golfers and I think that helps him focus more and he tends to play well."
York said his irons are the key to his low scores.
"The strongest part of my game are my irons because I don't have huge misses," he said. "Even if I hit a bad shot with my irons, I still have a chance to get up and down.
"Actually, my irons have been a lot better this year than in the past. I have had more birdies this year than before, but I have lost strokes with my drives. My driver and my chipping have been hurting me."
Richards said the key for any golfer is to trust his game. That comes with a consistent routine, and Richards said York is working toward that.
"You don't think about your shot or how you want to hit the ball, you just hit the ball," Richards said. "You need to get that on a consistent basis. Sometimes you hook the ball and you keep thinking that you can't hook the ball and you end up pushing the ball because you are trying so hard not to hook it. When you play golf, you have to think about what you want to do, not what you don't want to do."
York also plays boys tennis in the spring and has been in the robotics club and the school's musical theater. He recently gave up robotics because of schedule demands.
"I did the robotics club for three years and then started in musicals, but ended up just doing musicals because it was so time-consuming," York said. "One year I did both and was going to school from 8 (a.m.) to 3 (p.m.) and then had musical from 3-6 (p.m.) and robotics from 6-9 (p.m.), so it was a bit much."
York has a 4.2 GPA and plans to major in an engineering field, but likely won't be able to play golf at the next level. That means the clock is ticking toward the end of his competitive golf career.
"We only have a couple matches left, and I want to work toward getting my game more consistent before sectional," he said. "I don't want to go in hoping to shoot a 75 to make it out (to district). I want to go in there with the confidence that I'm going to do it instead of hoping for it to be a good day."