Reid goes from middle school softball to high school golf

Published 5:14 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

A difficult moment earlier this semester has helped pave the way for great things for eighth grader Anna Reid. The Demopolis Middle School student has long played softball at both the local league and travel levels and played a key role on the DMS team as a seventh grader last season.

However, Reid’s bid to don blue and white in her eighth grade year fell short when she tried out but failed to make the DMS team. What could have been emotionally crushing for a young lady whose identity is often closely tied to athletics, proved to be little more than a redirection.

“It was three weeks after tryouts and I went to church and some of the boys asked if I was playing golf,” Reid said.

Following that conversation Reid attended the organizational meeting for the 2012 Demopolis High School golf team and soon learned that DHS coach Sgt. Mike Black would allow her to play on the squad.

“After my top six (players), she’s probably next out of the 14 that I have,” Black said of where Reid ranks against the 13 high school boys who fill out the rest of the squad. “She has played in matches against other schools and she has dominated both male and female. By the time she gets over (to Demopolis High School as student) in her freshman and sophomore years, she should be pretty good.”

The sport came pretty naturally to Reid, the daughter of two golfers.

“Since I could get on the golf cart,” Reid said of how long she has been playing the game. “My mom taught me how to play at first. Now me and my dad will go out and practice together.”

Reid has improved markedly over the years, having now reached the point that she can outplay her former tutor.

“I can beat my mom,” she said with a smile. “My dad is pretty good though.”

Reid has also seen her score improve dramatically since the season began earlier this semester.

“I’ve been kind of surprised,” Reid said. “Whenever I first kept my own score, I was shooting like a 44 and kept working and am now down to like a 38.”

On those days when Reid shoots in the 30s after nine holes, she is good enough to threaten the top five slots on the DHS team. The competitive nature that motivates her is the very thing makes Black confident she will be something special.

“She is real athletic and is not intimidated by anything these boys throw at her,” Black said. “She can be as good as she wants to be if she keeps working at it.”

Only the second female golfer to play for Demopolis High School in the 12 years that Black has coached the squad, Reid takes no advantage over her male counterparts, hitting out of the same tee boxes as her teammates.

“She plays out of the same box all the boys do,” Black said. “It is going to help her. We don’t have a lot of teams with females on them, so she is going to have to play from the men’s tee boxes.”

“It was just kind of different because it was a little further back than the red tees,” Reid, who had never hit from the men’s tee boxes prior to playing for the DHS team, said. “But I still outdrive all the other boys.”

Reid has proven resilient throughout the process, turning a largely negative situation into an undeniable positive, altering her big picture view in the process.

“It has helped me a lot because I’ve met some different people. It is just a different crowd,” Reid said of the switch from softball to golf. “I’m planning that, in the fall, I’ll go back to travel (softball). But in the spring, I am going to do golf again. I was kind of wanting to get a scholarship on it.”