When Timothy Wiseman, 2019 Ball State graduate, picked up a golf club for the first time, he didn't realize what would be in store for him for years to come.
Along with his older brother, Tommy, and his younger brother, Joey — a sophomore organizational communication major and current member of Ball State Men’s Golf — the Wiseman brothers participated in a number of organized sports during their childhood. However, as the three of them grew older, they gravitated toward golf.
“I think Joey and I both kind of realized that golf was maybe something we could have a career in,” Timothy said. “You could include [Tommy] too — we were all kind of close in age.”
Having competed with Ball State Men’s Golf for the entirety of his collegiate career, Timothy — the first-ever Ball State student-athlete to compete in the U.S. Open, said Tommy was a major source of inspiration growing up. While he didn’t compete at the intercollegiate level, Tommy — a 2018 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, grew up with the game alongside his younger brothers.
“His IQ about the game is really high,” Timothy said. “When we were younger, I was always striving to beat him. It finally got to the point where I could do that once in a while.”
When Timothy graduated from Ball State in May 2019, a new Wiseman joined the Cardinals the following fall. Although his spring season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joey gained valuable experience as a freshman, competing in four events and nine total stroke-play rounds.
Joey said there are more differences than similarities between him and Timothy when comparing their demeanor and attitude on the green.
“I guess it’s kind of stereotypical for a younger brother to be more outgoing,” Joey said. “[Timothy’s] definitely a lot quieter than I am. I would say I’m louder and less filtered.”
Despite their differences, Ball State head coach Mike Fleck said Joey’s familiarity with the program prior to committing has played a key role in his success, even though his Ball State career has been relatively short.
“As Joey kind of finds his way through this process, I’m sure that he will have as equal a successful career as Timothy did,” Fleck said. “The family is well aware of our traditions and expectations of Ball State Golf.”
Last fall, Joey posted his top numbers of the season in the team’s final event — the Musketeer Classic in Cincinnati — where he tied for 38th and finished 10 over par. Fleck said the lack of a 2020 spring season was a setback regarding Joey’s development, but he remains hopeful for his future.
“Joey’s a gamer,” Fleck said. “He’s learning what it takes not only to be the best that he can be, but bringing teammates along is really important to him. Having that season cut short last spring was really tough because he was starting to emerge as one of the guys who was really starting to be relevant.”
Although COVID-19 has sidelined the Cardinals until at least the spring, both Joey and Timothy gained competitive experience this past summer. The brothers competed in the Indiana PGA Southern Open June 15.
With no opportunity to compete for Ball State in the foreseeable future, Joey said he recently modified his class schedule to all-online, giving him more time to practice during the day.
“I’m not trying to convert myself right now,” Joey said. “There’s not a tournament next week to peak for. I’m trying to keep my game shape enough to compete in a couple of weeks.”
If there’s one lesson he has learned from Timothy over the years, Joey said, it’s a simple one: Stay positive at all times.
“[Timothy’s] pretty good at golf,” Joey said, “But there are a lot of people who are good who I don’t look up to because of what separates him from the rest: staying calm and composed as opposed to throwing clubs.”