SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — Golf can be both the most frustrating and the most rewarding experiences for an athlete. Nick Crawford has had his share of ups and downs on the golf course. But what’s remained constant is his love for the game.
“Usually, I’m on the golf course playing, practicing or just messing around doing something,” Crawford said.
If you’re looking for the Northside junior, start at the golf course, specifically at Hanging Rock Golf Course in Salem, where he learned how to play the game at a very young age through his grandfather.
“My paw paw. He really got me into it,” Crawford said. “I’d come out here and work with him every morning. I’d be his starter. Just kind of hitting and messing around and then he really started helping me become a golfer. Working on my swing. Different things like that.”
Eventually, Crawford figured out he wasn’t bad at golf. Last year as a sophomore, he was crowned a region champion. And at the start of his junior year, he won the Botetourt Metro Invitational.
“I felt like my game started coming when I was 15 or 16, maybe last year. When I won the region, that felt really good. That was a boost. Like I can play golf with anyone you know,” Crawford said. “Trying to just become the best I can. I’m not where I want to be but you can always get better just practicing.”
Last month, Crawford made the trip of a lifetime, getting the chance to play at Pebble Beach in California through an opportunity with the Roanoke Valley chapter of First Tee.
“When I got accepted, I was super happy. Just going to Pebble Beach, that’s amazing. But through First Tee, they get you into different things. It’s just an amazing time at Pebble Beach,” Crawford said. “How beautiful it is out there. Playing it and how much history it has behind it. I mean all the matches. Tiger Woods winning out there.”
The experience provided Crawford the confidence to dream big for his final year with the Vikings.
“Next year for my senior year, I really want to win the district,” Crawford said. “Try to win the region and hopefully go to states and win that. That would be a huge accomplishment for me.”