"It would mean a lot to me. It'd be a big accomplishment, and I'd like to do that," he said. "I expect to do well. I've just got to try to stay focused."
Hogue gave most of the field a head-start because he didn't take up golf until his freshman year. He played baseball until then and played basketball through his sophomore year, but he began to realize he wasn't going as far in those games as he might in golf.
"I feel like I'm better at golf than either one of them, and I just enjoy playing golf, really," he said.
Playing golf well means working at it, and Lincoln coach David Horseman said the results of Hogue's hard work have been evident this season.
"He's been playing pretty consistent day in and day out," Horseman said. "He's put in a lot of individual work, and that kind of work is paying off."
Hogue played on the GeneratioNext junior tour this summer, and he said he plays "six or seven times a week" even when he isn't competing. He also works in the pro shop at Dix River.
Horseman said Hogue goes so far as to hit balls in his backyard after dark, not to see where his shots are going but simply to get a better feel for the ball.
Hogue has a nine-hole average of 35 in the current high school season, and he shot rounds of 33 on Aug. 20 at Dix River and Aug. 28 at Hickory Hills in Liberty. He's also in the running for player of the year honors in the newly formed Kentucky Bluegrass Conference.
He also fired a 75 to take third place in the Warren East invitational Aug. 18 at Shady Hollow. This summer he had a round of 74 that included seven birdies in a junior tourney at Frankfort, and he shot the same score at Dix River to win the club's junior invitational.
Hoping changes will pay off
"I was making some swing changes last year, and those have finally come through," Hogue said. "I'm hitting the ball a lot better now than I was."
Hogue said he hopes that will pay off with a chance to play in college, but first with a successful day at the regional. He shot 80 in last year's regional at Campbellsville, but he expects to do better than that on the familiar fairways and greens of Dix River.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "Just knowing the distance and everything at our course, I feel I have more of an advantage on the greens, knowing the little breaks on the greens."
Horseman said playing at home has to help Hogue's chances, and he said Dix River's left-to-right layout works in favor of the left-handed Hogue.
"It always helps to have the home-course advantage, and we've played the majority of our matches at home this year," Horseman said. "I think he has a great opportunity to have a great day there."
The 5th Region field seems to get stronger every year, and Hogue knows he'll be up against some tough competition.
"There's some good players in this region, but I'm improving," he said.
His coach said he believes Hogue has done what is necessary to give himself a chance to succeed.
"In the region, it comes down to a little bit of luck, but he's put in a lot of hard work to make his luck," Horseman said.