PEORIA, Ill. — The best thing that could have happened to Mike Wales this summer was getting humbled by some difficult golf courses.
Coming into the high school season, my last tournament was the Illinois Open which is a professional event. Those tournaments are 7200 yards (in length),” Wales said. “I shot 72, 88. So coming here seems a lot easier.”
In the first four events of the high school season, the Notre Dame senior shot a combined 14-under-par. He’s turned the heads of his competition.
Now he’s hoping to turn heads of college coaches. He’s yet to make a college decision.
“It’s hard to know you haven’t committed yet,” Wales said. “You’re trying to post good scores for coaches to see. So you can be as aggressive as you want. It’s a little stressful.”
If Wales is stressed he isn’t showing it. About a month ago he added something to his golf bag which keeps him loose.
It’s a parrot head driver cover. And his scores, which included a 69 at Kellogg and a 65 at Weibring Golf Club, have been great ever since.
“Someone asked him in a tournament, are you a parrot head? He said ‘I guess so.’ But I don’t think he understood what it meant musically,” said Notre Dame golf course Ryan Julius with a smile. “Whatever is on the head of his driver is working great.”
Wales says his driving has been extremely consistent this fall.
“I just think it looks cool,” Wales said of his new head cover. “I think anyone who has a cool head cover looks good. I’m being loose on the golf course, having fun. Trying to have as much fun as I can.”
Having fun? Yes.
Carding great scores? Yes.
A parrot head? Evidently.
It’s all working right now for Mike Wales.