Marty Martin's retirement from the steel mills 10 years ago led to the development of his son Brandon's golf game.
"He started to play a lot more golf when he retired," said Brandon, a senior golfer at Chesterton. "I started playing then, and I always had a good time playing with him. He made me want to play it more.
"When I first started, he beat me. He has a tough time beating me now."
Martin is also holding his own in the area prep golf scene. He placed fourth at Saturday's Marquette Invitational with a career prep-best 6-over-par 78 — in less than ideal conditions.
"We were practicing when it was snowing, and I didn't know if I wanted to be out there," said Martin, who parred the first hole. "Once I did that on the first hole, I thought the conditions weren't that bad. I just thought if I could keep doing this, that I would be fine."
Martin's team-low total helped the Times No. 2 Trojans place third.
"He's a really good athlete. His touch is great around the greens," Chesterton coach Kent Butler said of Martin, who's played on varsity for three seasons. "He's really dedicated himself to golf."
Martin's 7-over-par 77 at last year's sectional was a key score in the Trojans' surprising win and the impetus for a heightened offseason training regimen for the senior and his returning teammates.
"(The sectional win) motivated the entire team," Martin said. "We want to win sectional again and maybe make it to state. I wanted to play more in the summer and get even better."
With the extended play, Martin has learned more about himself on the golf course. While he has a stocky 6-foot frame, Martin has realized that booming drives aren't the solution for lower scores.
"I'm about 50 yards further than my dad with my driver," Martin said. "I used to always want to hit driver, but I didn't always want to be forced to punch (a shot) through the trees.
"If I'm not hitting my driver well, I leave it in the bag. I've learned to be able to hit with my irons far enough to use a pitching wedge to the green."
Martin said he didn't hit his driver much last Saturday, and he was able to up and down several times for some pars. He remains optimistic about the rest of his season.
"It gets me excited that I can shoot like this in the (beginning of the season) if not lower," he said. "I'd just like keep it under 80."