BRENDAN KING | Staff Reporter
After waking up to sounds of shouting and horns at Culver Military Academy for four years, Butler golfer Andrew Eiler is ready for early morning tee times.
Eiler is a junior on the men’s golf team. When he joined the team as a freshman, he was just a walk-on player. Now, he is on scholarship and has developed into one of the team’s leaders.
“Setting an example of hard work and dedication and also giving advice, like how to balance between academics and golf, is key for me,” Eiler said.
Before he got to Butler, Eiler had a long history with the sport he loves. He began playing at a very young age, and his future branched off from there.
“I started playing golf when I was five years old because of my older brother,” Eiler said. “When he started playing in tournaments I was taken to the course with him so all of this is because of him.”
From then on, Eiler’s golf game began to develop. Culver presented a major change in his life.
“It was very structured, and every day was planned. I think it has helped me become a successful student-athlete because it is a lot of time management and a busy schedule,” Eiler said. “Being in military school gave me the skills to manage balancing academics and golf.”
Academics were always his first priority at Culver. Eiler said he rarely had any free time, which required him to make sacrifices with time he had to practice golf.
“Saturday mornings were the only free time we had, so I had to sacrifice sleep to go take a golf lesson or go to a driving range,” Eiler said.
After Eiler graduated from Culver, he was ready to take the next step in his life.
Butler’s golf program is not what first attracted Eiler. In fact, the College of Business first caught his attention. He also said that leaving the small town of Culver, Ind. and coming to a big city like Indianapolis was enticing.
In only his third year at Butler, Eiler has gone from being a walk-on to one of Butler’s top scorers during tournaments. Through his tournament performances, he has given inspiration to younger players on the team, such as sophomore Logan McBride. McBride, a walk-on, said Eiler helped improve his college golf career immediately.
“He gave me motivation to see that a walk-on can be so successful on the golf team,” McBride said. “He helped me through the process because we had a personal relationship before college, and it helped me that we were in a similar position other than knowing each other.”
In Eiler’s freshman and sophomore years, he finished third and fourth, respectively, in scoring on the team, shooting an average of 77 his freshman year and 78 his sophomore year.
This season, his biggest win came at the Big Four Classic in Carmel, and featured Butler, Wabash College, Hanover College and DePauw. Eiler shot a team-best 73 in the final round to win the title for Butler.
Through hard work and dedication, Eiler said anything is possible. McBride compared Eiler to professional golfer Jim Furyk, who stopped at nothing to have a successful golf career.
“Furyk is a really level-headed guy who keeps it in play but doesn’t have the most traditional golf swing in the world,” McBride said. “He’s a good putter and really focuses on that as a big aspect of the game, and so does Andrew Eiler.”
When Eiler learned about McBride’s comparison, he said he agreed with it.
“I would have said Ernie Els, but I can see Jim Furyk because he is a grinder who has a goofy swing,” Eiler said. “My practice swing is a little different because my philosophy is I overexaggerate corrections, so my swing is correct when I swing at 110 miles per hour.”
Eiler and his teammates will now compete for a successful finish at the Big East Championships starting April 26. The championships will be held in Callawassie Island, S.C., and will feature the top golfers in the Big East.