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Bulldogs Golf
Reeves improves his mental game

Having read a book by sports psychologist Ben Rotella, Bearden High School golfer Ben Reeves said he’s learning not to dwell on a bad hole.

“To get over it and not bring it to the next tee,” said Reeves, BHS senior who currently is top 10-ranked among boys statewide in Class of 2012 and top 30 in the state among boys 18-and-under — both according to Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings.

“You can’t get mad at golf, you just have to keep going,” he added. “If you miss a short putt … you can’t dwell on it. … That’s really helped me just to free up my swing, free up my mind.”

Reeves, 17, tied for fifth in last year’s Region 2-AAA Tournament, one shot out of a playoff to go to state, while also finishing fifth in District 4-AAA Tournament.

Since last season, “I think my mental game’s gotten a lot better,” Reeves said. “I definitely can think my way through a golf course better than I did before.

“I think my swing’s gotten better, the short game, mechanics,” he added. “I’d say I’ve improved everywhere.”

Aided by his Scotty Cameron Studio Select putter, “I’d say putting is probably the strongest part of my game,” Reeves said. “Putting or driving accuracy, both of those are probably my strengths.”

“What needs to improve is definitely distance,” Reeves added. “My iron play could be better; but it’s not a weakness, I wouldn’t say.”

In summer tourney play, Reeves captured Vanderbilt Legends Club tourney, an All-American Junior Golf Tour event in Nashville by shooting 75-71-146 (4-over par) to win by one stroke.

“I’ve played, this summer, all over the southeast,” Reeves said. “Played in a lot of [American Junior Golf Association] tournaments. I never finished outside of the top 30 in any of those, that was nice too.

“I think that’s one of my higher accomplishments, [that] I had a pretty consistent summer,” Reeves added.

Playing golf with limited breaks this summer, Reeves said, “I still love it as much as ever. Whether it’s playing or just kinda practicing, I haven’t stopped playing since May.

“I don’t see myself ever getting burned-out.”

Putter aside, Reeves’ clubs of choice are mostly Titleist. “I’ve had Titleist clubs probably for about three years,” he said. “They’ve been really good, so I haven’t changed.”

His driver is Titleist 909 D-2; his irons are Titlest AP-2, “a mix of the original and the newer version,” Reeves said.

His fairway woods are Titleist 906 F-2 and F-4; wedges are Titleist Vokey 54- and 60-degree.

Reeves said his BHS goal individually is to reach the Class AAA state tournament, to be played at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester, and finish in the top 10.

“As a team I really want us to make it to state, I think we have the potential this year,” he said.

John Heins, BHS head coach, said senior Dalton Chaffee, junior Phillip Dean and sophomores Keeton Susong and Tucker Roof comprise the heart of Bearden’s team.

Looking to contribute are seniors Bradley Matthews and David Moon, plus freshmen Graham Pritchett, Seth Hotchchandler and Seth Gettelfinger.



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