EDMOND — The problem with Drew Ison’s golf game was simple. He wasn’t singing enough.
Maybe that statement is a little more figurative than literal, but the essence of it is accurate.
The Edmond Santa Fe senior has been in the Wolves’ top five for four years. In practice and qualifying rounds, he’s been one of their best players since he got to high school.
The talent has always been there. But the results on tournament day weren’t consistently showing that talent.
A couple of weeks ago, it finally clicked. Ison realized he needed to relax.
“One of his teammates commented to me that he was singing songs on the golf course,” Edmond Santa Fe coach Mike Stolz said with a laugh. “That’s what’s working for him. He got some good advice from a couple of people. He read a book that has really helped him.
“It’s not a change in his golf game. It’s a change in the way he approached it.”
Basically, once Ison stopped worrying about shooting low scores, he started shooting low scores.
“I’ve been enjoying myself on the golf course, just let loose and let my abilities take care of themselves without worrying about it so much,” Ison said. “I haven’t been stressed out about trying to play well and shooting good scores. I’ve just let my natural abilities take over and I’m being calm.”
Ison, The Oklahoman’s Boys Golfer of the Week, has won three straight tournaments, and tied for first in the one before that. He has been even-par or better in his last six rounds — 18-under in all — including a 10-stroke win at Ardmore on Tuesday.
Last week, he shot 72 at Karsten Creek to win the Class 6A state tournament preview by three shots, following up his Metro Conference Tournament victory a week earlier.
“Before, when he got to tournaments, he cared so much that he was trying too hard and it was holding him back,” Stolz said. “Now, he’s talking to the guys he’s playing with on the course, joking around, singing songs.”
And the timing couldn’t be better, with only the regional and state tournaments left on the schedule.
“It’s so satisfying to be playing the kind of golf I’m capable of playing,” said Ison, who signed with Drake. “It’s just all coming together, and it’s really rewarding to know that everything you’ve put in is coming back out.”