Former Sun Devil Golfer Chez Reavie Gears Up For Return To Pro Curcuit
Sept. 21, 2005
Chez Reavie, the 2001 U.S. Public Links champion and a three-time All-America selection at Arizona State University, is again ready for the big time.
Thanks to instructor Peter Kostis, director of the Kostis/McCord Learning Center at Grayhawk Golf Club, and a focused fitness regimen, the Scottsdale resident is playing the best golf of his life.
Reavie travels to Chattanooga, Tenn., the last week in May to attempt to qualify for a Nationwide Tour event. On June 6 he'll be at U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying in Columbus, Ohio, where he'll try to qualify for his third straight U.S. Open Championship (this year the championship is being contested at fabled Pinehurst No. 2 June 16-19). That kind of experience is remarkable for someone who is still only 23.
Like a lot of good, young players, Reavie is confident, but not cocky. 'I finished second last year at sectional qualifying (for the U.S. Open),' Reavie said before he left for Tennessee. 'I just hope to do it again this year.' While Reavie missed the cut at the U.S. Open at Olympia Fields in 2003, he fared much better last June at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. He made the cut and finished 62nd.
Shinnecock Hills is a long way from Mesa, where Reavie grew up playing nearly every day at Dobson Ranch Golf Club, a city-operated public course where he is a legend among the golfers there.
Reavie relied on natural talent, hard work and inner drive to help him excel as a teenager. For four years he was a top player at ASU although an injury slowed him down for part of it.
'When I won the U.S. Public Links I got through on my competitiveness,' he said. 'I hated to lose, but my swing wasn't as solid as it is now. Now that I've moved up to a higher level, where everyone is so good, I needed some fundamentals to go with my competitiveness. Now I'm playing the best I've ever played.'
He credits Kostis for helping.
Last summer Reavie, who had never taken a formal lesson, started working with Kostis, a Paradise Valley resident and well-known CBS golf analyst. Ironically, Reavie flew to Maine, where Kostis has a summer home. 'It was really the first lesson I ever had,' Reavie said. 'He's my main guy now and he's changed a lot with my golf swing and set up. He's teaching me everything. Even the basic fundamentals I was screwed up on.'
Reavie finished 13th on the money list ($21,250) in the Gray Goose Gateway Tour's Desert Spring Series despite playing in just five of the 10 Spring Series events. He made three cuts in five events and won his last event of the season at Gainey Ranch with a final-round 64. But he hopes to leave developmental tours' in his rear view mirror. 'Hopefully soon I'll win a PGA Tour event and be able to play with those guys,' he said. 'I still plan to play a couple Gateway events this summer, but it depends on how well I'm playing.'
Reavie, still a few credits short of getting a bachelor's degree from ASU, signed an agreement with Gaylord Sports Management in Scottsdale last fall. Cricket Musch, PING's former Director of TOUR Player Relations, who is now director of business development for Gaylord, helps Reavie with his career. Earlier in the year the company helped him get into the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he won nearly $8,000.
'They help me with the club companies and help me sort through all my contracts to make sure everything is handled properly,' Reavie said. 'Their lawyers look over everything and make sure I can't get into trouble. They also work hard every week to get me exemptions into tournaments.'
Signing with Gaylord, Reavie said, was a smart decision, but past success has also benefited him. 'A lot of (professional golfers) think you can sign with an agent and they can get you into everything,' Reavie said. 'But they can only do what you've done for yourself.'
And like a lot of his competitors on the professional tours, Reavie has embraced a focused workout regimen. He trains five to six days a week at Athlete's Performance in Tempe. 'It's a lot of stretching, lifting, lunges and medicine ball stuff,' he said.