Freshman Hogenmiller hones game

Freshman Andy Hogenmiller reacts to a shot during the Pasta House/Drury Invitational on Sept. 30. Hogenmiller tied for tenth.

Kevin Greim

Freshman Andy Hogenmiller reacts to a shot during the Pasta House/Drury Invitational on Sept. 30. Hogenmiller tied for tenth.

While most people wear slacks and the coveted Polo to a golf course, Missouri Southern freshman Andy Hogenmiller proved to be a little different.

“The first time I ever went golfing, I wasn’t in what most people would call ‘golf attire,'” Hogenmiller said. “I just wanted to see what golfing was like so I wore what I had on that day. I think it was a cut-off shirt.”

Hogenmiller, 18, got started playing golf when he was 10 years old. After numerous trips to see family in Iowa, he decided to follow in his great uncle’s footsteps and give golf a try.

“Every time we went to Iowa, there was always one day that everyone would get together to play golf,” Hogenmiller said. “My great uncle was a great golf player. I picked it up pretty quick and after that, I gradually started playing more and more.”

Hogenmiller, a native of Washington, Mo., played four years of high school golf under Coach Greg Dunigan.

He was a varsity performer all four years for the Blue Jays. He was a was a state qualifier his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, finishing 21st at the Missouri State Championships his junior year.

“My high school coach always said I had a real good mental game,” Hogenmiller said. “I think that’s what separates me from other golfers. If you have a bad shot, move on. In golf, you have to stay in the present. You can’t stay in the past.”

After putting in a long summer, Hogenmiller placed third in his first college meet, the Missouri Intercollegiate.

“It was a great feeling,” Hogenmiller said. “Not to say it was easy, but I was happy and a little surprised.”

Hogenmiller led the Lions shooting a two-under 142.

“It was an amazing golf course,” Hogenmiller said. “It was in perfect shape and on the Lake of the Ozarks. You really just can’t beat that.”

He went on to finish second in the Pittsburg State Invitational, placing three strokes behind the leader.

“Andy wound up playing some seasoned veterans from the conference,” said golf Head Coach Kevin Greim. “And not one time did he get flustered or feel out of place. He deserved to be there. He’s tough, but not too tough on himself.”

While Southern’s golf team saw hard times at the Northeastern State Golf Classic, Hogenmiller continued to be the Lions’ top scorer.

He finished 15th, shooting a seven-over 223, his lowest finish all season.

“That’s the way golf is,” Hogenmiller said. “One day you have it and the next day you don’t.”

He tied for tenth at the Pasta House/Drury Invitational.

“He is so level-headed,” Greim said. “His mental game is so level that in his head is a picture of how to play the game.”

Before coming to Southern, Hogenmiller received offers to play golf at Drury, but declined to play due to many reasons.

“Drury is an expensive school,” Hogenmiller said. “I don’t want to be in a big hole of debt after I graduate. Also, Coach Greim is a cool guy. He’s down to earth and just really easy to get along with.”

In the final tournament of the fall season, Hogenmiller tied for fifth at the Southwest Baptist Invitational.

“I always knew I could do what I’m doing,” Hogenmiller said. “It’s just all in putting it together.”

When he is not playing golf, Hogenmiller spends time “enjoying life.”

“I like to play sports that don’t normally get a lot of attention,” Hogenmiller said. “I like to play ping-pong, pool and tennis. I spend a lot of time relaxing, watching ESPN, and hanging out with friends.”

While the fall season may be over, expect Hogenmiller to come back just as strong in the spring season.

“The future is bright for him,” Greim said. “He’s been every bit of what I hoped for, then some.”