Connor Brown is certainly glad he chose golf over baseball.
The Union Grove High School senior, who was playing youth baseball and golf prior to high school, made the decision during his freshman year to focus on golf.
All he did over his four years with the Broncos boys golf team was to establish himself as one of the best prep golfers in Racine County history.
Three straight appearances at the WIAA State Tournament, with two straight top-12 finishes; sectional championships as a junior and senior; three straight years on the All-County first team.
So there was little debate that Brown should be the All-County Player of the Year for the second straight year.
“Overall, I was pretty happy with the season,” said Brown, the son of Charlie Brown, an assistant pro at Geneva National Golf Club in Lake Geneva and one of best golfers ever to come out of Racine.
“I’m happy I made the decision (to focus on golf) — I do miss baseball, but I can’t be too upset with what I chose.”
Especially considering what he did this year. He brought more consistency to his game, focusing on his putting. He didn’t have any rounds like the 67 he shot in sectional play as a junior, instead shooting 72 three times, 73 once and nothing higher than an 81.
“This season, I was more consistent and got better at putting and in my decision making,” Brown said. “My average was a little better, but I was a lot more consistent.
“That was a pretty big part of my game. My confidence was a lot better.”
What makes those rounds even more impressive is that the Broncos didn’t have one tournament on their home course, Ives Grove Golf Links in Yorkville. One of Brown’s top performances came at the Chilton Invitational at Town and Country Golf Course in Sheboygan, a course he’s never played before.
At the end of the year, when it counted most, he was at his best. One of his 72s came in winning the WIAA Division 1 Brookfield Central Sectional at Wanaki Golf Course in Menomonee Falls, another course he had never played.
At the state tournament at University Ridge in Verona, he shot rounds of 75 and 76 for a 151 total, tying for 12th.
“It was special to be able to go back to state,” Brown said.
Brown credits the improvement in his game over the last four years to not only his father, but Broncos coach Eric Swanson.
“Coach Swanson has been a very, very good coach for four years,” Brown said. “He helped me a lot and made sure this was a great season for me.
“My dad updated my swing and tweaked it and that’s always an advantage. All of those (things) helped.”
Swanson, who said Brown now holds almost every boys golf record at Union Grove, wasn’t sure how Brown’s final prep season would go, considering the typical expectations put on a senior.
Brown didn’t disappoint.
“There’s a lot of pressure on seniors when they have had success and there are high expectations,” Swanson said. “Connor handled the pressure very well.
“I am definitely going to miss him next year.”
Brown, who earned Golf Coaches of Wisconsin All-State honorable mention honors and was a GCAW Academic All-State honoree, will be attending UW-Eau Claire and plans to try out for the Blugolds golf team. He plans to major in business management.