Local golfers finding success on the course

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 17, 2020

 Max O’Rourke, left, and Ryan O’Rourke walk the course at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland. Max is signed with Wayne State University and Ryan was named the GAM 15-and-under Junior Boys Player of the Year.

Max O’Rourke, left, and Ryan O’Rourke walk the course at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland. Max is signed with Wayne State University and Ryan was named the GAM 15-and-under Junior Boys Player of the Year.

Photo provided by Max O’Rourke

 From left, Max and Ryan O’Rourke will play for Walled Lake Northern this spring.

From left, Max and Ryan O’Rourke will play for Walled Lake Northern this spring.

Photo provided by Max O’Rourke

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — For both Max O’Rourke and Ryan O’Rourke, golf was not their first love.

The brothers grew up playing hockey and saw golf as a secondary sport. But it was always part of their lives and something they could never get away from.

As they grew older, the game became more prevalent in their lives, and they both decided to pursue golf instead of sticking with hockey.

That choice has proven to pay off, as Max has signed on to play collegiately at Wayne State University, while Ryan was recently named the Golf Association of Michigan 15-and-under Junior Boys Player of the Year.

“For me, it is a huge honor and a huge accomplishment to be named the GAM Junior Boys Player of the Year, because I never thought I would come this far in my golf career,” Ryan said. “For the longest time, I expected to continue hockey all the way until college. Achieving this has really proved to me that I can be an amazing golfer in the near future.”

With both brothers finding success on the course, their relationship has only continued to grow. The brothers credit each other for a lot of the progress they’ve made over the years.

They consider themselves to be best friends, but when they get on the course, the competition heats up and they are looking to play their best.

But even with all the growth they’ve seen in their games and the accolades they’ve received, the brothers are still continuing to work on certain aspects of their games.

Ryan has been working on his consistency to help his scores, while Max has worked to improve his short game to post even better marks.

“It’s definitely made all the difference in the world, being able to push each other side by side,” Max said. “Even though he’s a couple years younger, that’s even more motivation for me just to stay on top of my game. He’s always gunning for me, so I just have to keep that one half step ahead of him so that he doesn’t catch me.”

“Almost every single time I’m playing, my brother is there with me,” Ryan said. “He’s been just an outstanding supporter for me, and I don’t think I could’ve gotten as far as I have without him.”

With Max being a senior and Ryan a freshman at Walled Lake Northern, the brothers will get the chance to compete on the same team this spring.

While playing together will be special, the two have some lofty goals for the team this season. With a strong core of players, they are hoping to make it all the way to the state finals.

Should that happen, Max would look to finish his high school career on a high note, while Ryan would be looking to lay the foundation for his next few years of school.

“I think that if all of our teammates keep their heads on straight and play smart golf and take advantage of the opportunities when they can, we really can make a good run at states this year,” Max said.

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