The Golf Coaches Association of America, in cooperation with its long-time corporate partner, the NGA Pro Golf TOUR, will feature a monthly Q&A with former collegians who are currently playing or have played on the NGA TOUR. Long considered the premier developmental tour in the United States, thousands of former college players have started their professional careers there. More than 250 NGA TOUR alumni have or continue to play on the PGA TOUR.
This month we spoke with Crawford Reeves, a current NGA Pro Golf TOUR member who was four-time Academic All-ACC while playing collegiately at Clemson. Reeves was victorious at the Members' Only Shootout earlier this year at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.
Q: What is your most memorable golf moment from your time at Clemson?
My most memorable golf moment was at the USC Aiken Intercollegiate. I was in the last group and I made a birdie on the last hole for our team to win the tournament by a shot.
Q: You were Academic All-ACC all four years at Clemson. How did that hard work in the classroom translate to the work you do on the course?
I learned a lot about time management when I was in college. It took plenty of discipline to put time aside for school with all of the other distractions of college and with being an athlete, also. That mindset of getting things done, being productive with the time that I had, and doing them the right way in the classroom is what translated over to my golf.
Q: What was the toughest adjustment going from collegiate golf to professional golf?
The toughest adjustment for me was getting used to the travel. Now I'm traveling by myself a lot which is a lot different than traveling with five teammates and two coaches. I have had to learn the best ways to pass the time and learn to embrace life of the road.
Q: When you finished playing collegiately at Clemson and turned professional, did you have long term goals in mind or were you mostly focused on your immediate golf future?
I've always had a long term goal of playing on the PGA Tour. That goal will always be there. I did set some short term goals also which allowed me to be able to gain some confidence from the start when I saw that I was accomplishing some things that I set out to accomplish.
Q: How have you found that your practice routine differs now than from your time in college?
I have a lot more time on my hands now. I try to play as much as I can while mixing in some practice time on the range. My time is a lot less stressful not having to worry about an assignment that I need to get done or a test that I need to study for. I have had a lot more fun with it and the lower stress has made it a lot more enjoyable to get out and work on my game.
Q: What is the best piece of golf advice you have been given?
My dad always tells me to enjoy the journey. I think that is important because if you don't enjoy it then you will look back and wish that you did. That is what I try to do every day and realize that I am lucky and blessed to be able to play this game for a living.
Q: Growing up, what golfer or golfers were your favorites?
I have always been a huge Tiger Woods fan. Growing up in the 90's and early 2000's he was in his prime and so much fun to watch. I have always been big fans of the local players from Greenville, SC, such as Jay Haas, Bill Haas, and Lucas Glover.
Q: What do you like to do in your downtime off the golf course?
I am a huge college football fan so during football season you can find me on the couch watching games or at every Clemson game that I can make it to. I also enjoy playing pick up basketball with some of my friends. I played in high school so it is fun to see if I still have my jump shot after all these years.
Q: What has been your favorite event to play on the NGA Tour?
My favorite event on the NGA Tour this year was the Biggs Caddillac Classic in Hertford, NC. The membership at the course tried to make the tournament as much like a tour event as possible and they succeeded.
There was also a fishing tournament, shoot out, million dollar shot, and and great pro-am. The membership embraced the event and made all of the players feel at home.
Q: Several alumni of the NGA Tour have gone on the great success on both the PGA and European Tours. What about the NGA Tour prepares golfers for continued success as they progress through their careers?
The NGA Tour allows you to get used to traveling for a few weeks at a time and get used to a normal PGA Tour Schedule. (Tournament week Monday-Sunday). You learn how to manage your time Monday-Wednesday so that you are as ready as possible when tournament time comes Thursday. Also, the strong fields allow you to see where your game stacks up and what you need to start working on to get better.