In golf, it isn’t only the most direct route that can produce the desired result.
Sometimes an indirect route can also get you exactly what you want — and even be more rewarding.
For Aurora graduate Caleb Badura, his goal of becoming an NCAA Division I golfer arrived a year later than he would have hoped.
But that doesn’t mean it is any less sweeter.
After spending his freshman year at Northwestern (Iowa), Badura agreed to transfer to Nebraska on Thursday evening.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Badura of becoming a Husker.
It was a whirlwind process for Badura over the past three weeks since his dominating win in the Nebraska men’s match-play championship as a 19-year-old on June 14.
“It came out of nowhere,” he said.
His swing coach, Alex Carper, works at Wilderness Ridge in Lincoln and is good friends with Nebraska assistant coach Judd Cornell.
“After I won the match-play championship, they started talking, and (Nebraska head) coach (Mark) Hankins was interested in me transferring,” Badura said. “It all came together in the last week.”
Badura made things official on Thursday after finishing second in the Nebraska Amateur Championship, losing to now four-time champion Alex Schaake in a seven-hole playoff.
Badura said he wasn’t looking to leave Northwestern, but this opportunity was one he couldn’t pass up.
“I really love Northwestern,” he said. “There are a lot of great people there. The size (of the college) was an issue for me. It’s small and wasn’t the right size. But I liked everything about the golf team.
“The opportunity to go DI was hard to pass up. I didn’t get those offers coming out of high school. I guess I was a late bloomer.”
Badura — who won back-to-back Class B state titles at Aurora — said he is excited about the future of the Huskers under Hankins, who is entering his second season at NU.
For those who transfer to the Division I level in sports like football and basketball, there is always an adjustment to the speed and size differences.
Badura knows there will be adjustments in an individual sport like golf, too, but he’s embracing the challenges.
“I’ll be pushed a lot more in practices and tournaments,” he said. “At Northwestern, I didn’t feel pushed enough. That’s not anyone’s fault, but the talent and work ethic isn’t the same at that (NAIA) level. I’m looking forward to being pushed like that.
“The DI schedule is busy. You’re competing in tournaments all over the country. If I make the travel squad, time management is going to be a big thing.”
Staying busy on the golf course and having success isn’t anything new to Badura, as shown by his success around the state over the past month.
And he’s not resting.
On Friday — one day after enduring the long playoff and making a major life decision — he was getting in a practice round at Indiana Creek in Omaha in preparation of a tournament there this weekend.
As for the rest of his summer, “I’m not sure. I’m looking at the short term right now.”
Badura can do that. He knows one thing about the long term — he’s becoming a Husker.