A game for brothers


Haltom brothers

Tristan and Taylor Haltom are brothers. They grew up in Thornfield, Missouri, a small town south of Ava, Missouri. The Haltom brothers are on the men’s golf team here at Missouri Southern. 

The brothers grew up outdoors. They spent a lot of their time on their family farm, going hunting, and fishing. Tristan remembers times of riding around with his grandpa and checking the cattle at the farm, and feeding the cattle. He doesn’t recall a lot of hobbies, but he played sports growing up like baseball and football, and then spent the rest of his time on the farm, hunting, and fishing. The slower life may not be for everyone, but it’s great for some. 

“I like it,” said Tristan. “I like to get away from the town or city life. Some people don’t appreciate it (country life), but I like it.”

Despite the fact that these small town country boys became Missouri Southern golfers, they didn’t start golfing at a young age. 

As they grew older and grew out of their youth clubs they wanted a new set of clubs. Once they got new clubs they started to go play a few rounds of golf. The brothers don’t think anything really pushed them to start playing golf, they just all of sudden started playing and then wanted to get better at it. 

 “I was actually thinking more of playing college football as a senior in high school, but once my senior football season ended, I thought college golf would be a more fun experience,” said Tristan. “Golf didn’t become my main sport until after football ended my senior year.”

So he still wasn’t playing all the time. Tristan and Taylor picked up the game of golf at the same time. Taylor being two years younger was able to start playing at a younger age.

 When they really got into the game they would spend long days at the golf course. Their mother is a teacher at Ava Schools, so in the summers when she had to go up to the school they would ride the 25-30 minutes with her and they would get dropped off at the golf course and would stay all day until their mother got done. They would get there early in the morning and wouldn’t leave until sometime in the evenings. Sometimes it would be 8 hour days or more. They rarely put their clubs down.

During their high school careers Taylor actually had a better overall record. He doesn’t think that necessarily makes him the better golfer, but his brother does. Tristan thinks Taylor was the better golfer throughout high school and that he had a better career. 

Tristan is currently in his senior season at Missouri Southern. He has performed well for the Lions ever since joining the squad. Taylor on the other hand is halfway through his sophomore campaign as a Lion. Taylor has competed in many events since his freshman season and has performed well.

When asked how they have learned from each other and maybe improved their game off one another, Tristan said he has upped his game close to the green because of Taylor and his confidence when he’s close to the green. Tristan also said Taylor is working on improving his ball striking ability, which is something Tristan values in his game. And when asked how to create the perfect Haltom brother, Taylor said if he could have Tristan’s course management, and if Tristan could have his close game, that would create the perfect Haltom brother duo. 

“It has made a difference (having his brother on the same team), it’s made the transition from high school to college much easier I would say,” said Taylor.

“It’s good, it’s an experience that I’m glad to have. Not a lot of people get to have that, and I’m grateful for that,” said Tristan. “It’s difficult at times, because you can be a little more direct with him, it’s just a different setup than you would have with a normal teammate.”

Despite it being difficult at times, both have great things to say about being on the team together.

“It’s been really nice, we’ve been able to learn each other’s games, help each other, be that coach in each other’s ear, and give each other immediate feedback,” said Taylor. 

The Haltom brothers still enjoy to go deer hunting as well. That’s what both boys spend some of their time doing when school is out for break, and they don’t have to worry about golf since they are between seasons right now. Their fall season just ended a few weeks ago and they won’t start back up until late February. Outside of golf, hunting is a hobby that the boys still enjoy to do together. Taylor talked about how much he enjoyed time they spent together in the outdoors, and all of their hunting discussions.

They have shared a unique experience of getting to play with their dad as well. Taylor and Tristan got their dad back into the game he used to enjoy when he was younger, once they started playing. They really enjoy that opportunity as well as getting to play with each other. 

For the Haltom brothers, they see this opportunity of playing golf together as much more than a high school and college experience. They plan to continue to play this game for the rest of their lives. Golf is a sport that many people play into their old age and both brothers think they will always be playing the game together, no matter where life takes them in the future. 

“I think it’s a really special opportunity, and I’m thankful for that opportunity, and to be able to have it for so long, and for so much longer,” said Taylor.