Valparaiso junior golfer Kyle Meihofer isn't as aggressive with his play this season, but his new approach is hardly passive.
"When I feel like I can make a shot, I'll still go for it," Meihofer said. "If I stray from that game, I don't seem to do as well.
"It's more about making the right play. There are opportunities to be aggressive, and I want to seize that moment. I'm playing more to my strengths."
Meihofer has averaged a 73 over his first two 18-hole tournaments. It is a three-shot improvement from where he was a season ago.
"He's a pretty mature kid," Valparaiso coach Wayne Lichtenberger said of Meihofer. "He's not the type of player to explode over a bad hole."
In last year's opening round of the state finals, Meihofer tripled-bogeyed on his last hole and missed the individual cut by a single stroke.
"It wasn't a great hole for me," he said. "What happens, happens. I'm not dwelling on the past. I just know now that I cannot be aggressive on every shot."
Meihofer also realized that he had to change parts of his game.
"I practiced a lot on my wedge game and around the green," he said. "I know I can hit it straight, but I knew my game needed some work."
The junior also spends time other places to enhance his golf game, including in the gym.
"Right when I hit high school, the team decided to start hitting the weights," Meihofer said. "The conditioning got pretty heavy, but it's helped.
"Balance is the huge thing I have been able to improve on. That helps strengthen every part of the game."
Meihofer and his teammates have started off strong this season. They were fourth at the Hall of Fame Tournament on April 7. Last Saturday, Valparaiso won the Marquette Invitational by 15 strokes. Meihofer placed second at Marquette with a 72, and three of his teammates also made the Top 10.
"When we get in a tournament, it's not about who is shooting No. 1," said Meihofer, who has the top spot right now. "Our best score can come from No. 3 or No. 4. Just like my coach believes, we have five No. 1 golfers on the team."