Zionsville’s Brycen Tisch to Compete at the 10th Annual Drive, Chip & Putt Competition

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Zionsville’s Brycen Tisch

November/December 2023

This month, Zionsville Monthly is pleased to feature on its cover Zionsville Community High School Freshman Brycen Tisch, who will compete in the prestigious 10th Annual Drive, Chip & Putt competition sponsored by the PGA, the 2024 National Finals, the week of the 88th Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

The event will be broadcast live by Golf Channel. Eighty junior golfers representing 31 U.S. states, one Canadian province, and Australia will compete. Tisch will be one of 10 young gentlemen in his age bracket to compete in Boys 14-15.

We spoke with Tisch and his parents Bryan and Breanne [Tisch] about the journey and efforts taken by Tisch to compete at this level among so many talented and aspiring young golfers.

Zionsville’s Brycen Tisch

About Drive, Chip & Putt

In collaboration with the USGA, the Masters Tournament, and the PGA of America, Drive, Chip & Putt stands as a complimentary nationwide youth golf development program. Open to both boys and girls aged 7-15 across four distinct age divisions, this multifaceted competition serves as a valuable platform for honing essential golfing skills. Participants engage in a three-pronged challenge evaluating their accuracy in driving, chipping, and putting, providing a comprehensive assessment of their prowess in various facets of the game.

Participants who advance through local, subregional and regional qualifying in each age/gender category earn a place in the National Finals.

A Young Talent Recognized  

Embarking on his golf journey at a tender 18 months old, Tisch’s introduction to the sport began when his father placed a plastic club in his tiny hands. At this early stage, his passion found inspiration in acclaimed golfers, with a soft spot for the skills of either Jordan Spieth or Justin Thomas. Displaying a particular fondness for driving, young Tisch aspires to tread the professional path, harboring dreams of joining the ranks of the PGA Tour as he grows older.

Under the expert guidance of Brad Fellers at Prairie View Golf Club, who spearheads the Golf School of Indiana, Tisch has undergone transformative coaching, crediting Fellers with significantly enhancing his golfing prowess after only a few lessons. Adding another layer to his training regimen, Tisch also benefits from the expertise of Colby Huffman, the head men’s golf coach at Butler University, who serves as his mental coach. Tisch expressed that Huffman has played a pivotal role in shaping him into a more proficient golfer.

Zionsville’s Brycen Tisch

Tisch’s dad Bryan shared, “He wasn’t even two when I put a real club in his hands, and he would consistently hit shots and want to do it over and over again. Over the years, we’ve hit thousands of balls in the backyard. I built a 33-yard golf hole in the yard. I started taking him to golf courses when he was young. It was just him in those early days—he’s our firstborn—so we had a heck of a lot of fun together. In 2014, when he was five, I entered him in his first tournament through the Indianapolis Junior Golf Tour, and that’s where he got his feet wet in competitive tournament golf. He won his first tournament at Riverside Golf Course, and that was the beginning of a lot of beautiful things that have come since then and hopefully, will continue into his future.”

Tisch added, “I like the aspect of being able to have fun at what I enjoy doing. And I enjoy competing. I always try to do my best. I enjoy playing with new people and making new friends on the golf course. Shooting low scores is also what makes the game enjoyable, and that’s what drives me to keep playing.”

Zionsville’s Brycen Tisch

Leveling Up His Game

Tisch shared that he began playing for Zionsville Middle School in sixth grade. As a freshman at ZCHS, he will try out for the men’s varsity golf team under the direction of Coach Adam Wood. Bryan and Breanne also shared that Tisch was named MVP all three years of middle school, tying Coach Wood’s record [32] for the 9-hole lowest score.

Breanne added, “Brycen has competed at Pinehurst for the U.S. Kids/Teen Golf Championship for seven years, was Golf Week’s 13 and Under Player of the Year for last year, and was an alternate for Nationals with Notah Begay, earning a slot to play at Mission Inn this January.”

Tisch scored 154 points in the Boys 14-15 competition this past September 9 at the Regional Qualifier at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, which clenched his spot at Nationals.

When asked what winning a spot at Nationals felt like this past September, Tisch replied thoughtfully, “This whole year has been really good for me, but September was a turning point because before then, I wasn’t shooting my best scores. I put in a lot of time and effort and came out with solid scores. This was my last year to [compete] in Drive, Chip & Putt, and I ended up winning the regional. It’s a great accomplishment and a lot of my work has paid off.”

Besides the commitment of time and energy—six days of practicing/playing—that Tisch puts into improving his game, Tisch recognizes that his recent success comes from the support of his family and coaches.

“Not only do I get a ton of support from my coaches, but I do also have a lot of support from my friends,” Tisch said. “Zionsville is a great community, and a lot of people support me as I support them.”

Breanne added, “Bryan and I have always felt that supporting our children’s dreams and desires helps them to be well-rounded individuals, and that has always been a priority. We’ll do whatever it takes for any of our kids to be their best and to help them get to where they would like to go in life.”

“Brycen has an intrinsic desire to play this game, to try to master this game and to improve,” Bryan said. “When I identified that, that’s when we began to think about the opportunities to play in big tournaments and to travel. That’s where it has to begin, in my opinion.”

Mental Preparation for a National Stage

“I think a lot of the mental preparation is going to come from not only me, but from a lot of help from Colby Huffman,” Tisch stated. “He’s been my mental coach, and now he’s helping me train and prepare for the experience in April. I think not getting overly excited but keeping a stable mindset will also help me. And of course, just having fun while I’m there…wherever the chips fall, that’s where they fall. It’s going to be a great time just being there.”

Bryan referenced Jack Nicklaus’ quote about managing the game of golf. Nicklaus once said, “Success depends almost entirely on how effectively you learn to manage the game’s two ultimate adversaries: the course and yourself.”

“I’ve tried to teach Brycen this along with his coaches,” Bryan said. “You want to manage yourself and the course because each course presents new challenges. That’s something that I think Brycen has done a really good job at doing.”