Published: 05:44 PM, Wed Mar 21, 2012
Prep golf preview: Bulldogs motivated for title run
If Terry Sanford golfer Jackson Spires needs inspiration to improve his play this season, he doesn't have to look any farther than his own team to find it.
Trey Guy, who also plays for the Bulldogs, has been applying friendly pressure to his teammate as the two chase individual and team success in the Mid-South 4-A Conference.
"They are both really good friends and very competitive,'' said Terry Sanford golf coach Doug Foster. "They definitely bring out the best in each other.''
Spires had the edge last season, winning the regular-season title in the Mid-South, along with conference Player of the Year honors.
But last year isn't even a memory for him, he said.
"I'm thinking about this year and what's ahead of me,'' he said. "I'm trying to be conference champion again.''
Foster said the high school season is far from the limit of Spires' involvement in golf. "Basically, he's practicing year round,'' Foster said. "He's also playing in several tournaments, not just high school golf but junior tournaments.''
Foster thinks the results of all that work are visible. "I feel his game right now is better than it was last year at this time,'' he said. "He should be a couple of strokes better than his scoring average of last year.''
Spires said the one area of his game he's worked on the most is chipping. "I've been working on a different variety of shots, to help me hit it close to the hole,'' Spires said. "Instead of just hitting a flop shot, I'm trying to play lower shots.''
Foster said Spires has far more strengths than weaknesses. "He's very focused when he's on the course,'' Foster said. "He is smart enough to adapt to the shot he's got to make. He's got skills with his woods, his irons and his putter.''
Spires got valuable experience last year as the Bulldogs took part in the Eastern Regional tournament and he qualified for the state tournament as an individual.
He'd like to return to the state tournament this year and bring his teammates with him.
"It's more fun with the team there,'' he said.
With or without his teammates, he's got goals for himself if he gets back to the state tournament. "I want to at least come in the top five,'' he said.
The push he gets from Guy could have a lot to do with that. "We really feed off of each other,'' he said. "We root for each other. That's how we stay competitive.''
Scholastic sports editor Earl Vaughan Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3519.
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