Dillon Brush’s dedication on and off the golf course led to the Central Valley High School senior enjoying his best season to date with the Hawks.
More importantly, Brush changed his life for the better.
“The motivation wasn’t golf,” said Brush, whose high-blood pressure dropped considerably after he lost 40 pounds in a five-month span from October to March. “I needed to get myself in a better place. Being in a healthier state helped me. I know for a fact it made life a lot easier. It’s crazy what you’re able to accomplish if you’re committed to it.”
Brush earned Central California Conference honorable-mention recognition while filling the top spot in Hawks’ lineup this year.
“That was a shock to me,” he said. “I’m very grateful to be acknowledged. It validated my hard work.”
“He exceeded expectations,” Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards stated. “He never lit up the scoreboard. The fact that he was consistent every match says a lot.”
Brush also qualified for Divisionals for the first time.
“He’s possibly only the fourth golfer from Central Valley to move on to Divisionals,” Edwards said. “The fact that he got there is an inspiring story. He’s a pretty good player. He just loves the game and looks forward to playing it.”
“I didn’t anticipate making it to the postseason,” Brush said. “That was a very big surprise. It hasn’t been done frequently at our school. That makes it even more special. I didn’t try to do anything special. I just tried to play my best and compete against myself. I played more freely. I didn’t stress myself out. I was just trying to have fun.”
A health scare in the summertime prompted Brush to make changes to his life.
His playing status was uncertain leading up to the 2023 season after he failed his on-campus sports physical.
He had high blood pressure.
Brush met with his pediatrician before being referred to a cardiologist.
He was cleared to play golf in February.
“All the signs were telling me this is what I got to do,” Brush said while talking about his transformation. “I took the initiative. I had to make some life changes. I put in the work. I got into much better shape physically. Hitting the gym helped me build muscle. Walking the course was a lot easier. I had better stamina. I’m in a way better spot now.”
Brush cut out fast-food and late-night snacks from his diet.
“It was a total 180,” said Brush, who admitted he ate whatever he wanted whenever he wanted in the past. “My body responded well to it. No shortcuts. No extremes. It was difficult initially. It all ended up working out.”
Fruit, nuts, yogurt, beef jerky, ham sandwiches and chicken have become staples of Brush’s diet.
Sparkling and regular water replaced super sugary soda.
“My guilty pressure after school was going to McDonald’s,” Brush said. “I’d get a chocolate shake and fries. I’d do that a couple times a week.”
“I cleaned up my diet,” he added. “I started going to the gym. It’s my way of life now.”
Brush suited up for Central Valley’s boys golf team for three seasons.
He improved each year.
Brush split playing time at the No. 5 and 6 spots as a sophomore.
“I improved quite a bit,” he said. “I took what I learned from the previous seasons and put everything together. I got more consistent with everything. That was the main thing. I don’t think I missed a practice. I made it to every match.”
Brush plans to attend Modesto Junior College where he’ll focus on academics.
He’d eventually like to transfer to the University of San Francisco and major in sports management.
Golf will continue to be a part of his life.
He’ll play the sport for fun, alongside his family.
“My dad and grandpa are in this group called The Bogeys,” he said. “They get together once a month and play assorted golf courses up and down California. You have to be 21 to join. Right now, I can be a guest.”