Beever takes her shot at Pebble Beach
Brinkley Beever believes she’s improved tremendously on the golf course in her four years on the Siloam Springs golf team.
She also knows there’s still lots of room for improvement.
Beever, a senior all-state golfer for the Lady Panthers, has watched her nine-hole average drop more than 10 strokes since her freshman year in 2014, when she was named the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Newcomer of the Year.
Beever averaged 51.6 strokes per nine-hole match that year, but showed flashes of brilliance and tons of potential with her game despite having played for less than a year.
“I had just started,” Beever said. “So I was still trying to figure out my swing.”
Each year since then she’s lowered that average — a 46.3 mark as a sophomore, 42.5 as a junior and now 41.08 her senior year.
Beever has dipped her scores into the upper 30s on several occasions, and last year she finished third at the Class 6A state girls tournament and qualified for the state overall tournament in Little Rock. She’s the third Lady Panther to qualify for the overall, joining Emery Rakestraw (2011) and Shelby Crawley (2013).
“I’ve taken lessons and kind of gotten it figured out,” she said. “I’ve changed on my course management so much and that’s why my scores have dropped. So I’m a completely different golfer. I’m totally different.”
With that in mind though, Beever said her game is ever evolving and she is constantly working for ways to improve, which is why she expects to be a “completely different golfer” down the road as well.
“Golf is different because you’re always working on something, always changing something in your swing,” she said. “You’re always trying to get better, so I don’t think you ever really stay the same. So I’m probably looking to change several things, get more consistent, be smarter, hit it farther and do as good as I can.”
Beever has a couple of opportunities on the horizon to cap off her senior golf season.
Next week Beever will fly out to Pebble Beach, Calif., to participate in the 2017 PURE Insurance Championship, which will be held Sept. 19-24 at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course and will be televised by the Golf Channel.
Beever was one of 33 girls and 81 junior golfers total selected to play in the event by a national panel of judges based on playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and core values learned through involvement with The First Tee, according to the tournament’s web site. The junior golfers will be teamed with 81 PGA Tour Champions and 162 amateurs to compete for the championship.
Beever and Greenwood’s Evan Griffith were the only two players selected from Arkansas, according to the tournament’s website.
“Ever since I got involved
with The First Tee (of Northwest Arkansas), I’ve heard about it,” Beever said. “It’s always been my top goal. For years I’ve been working toward it. To finally get chosen to do it is so exciting.”
Beever has been involved with The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas ever since she began playing golf before her freshman year. It’s helped her land several opportunities in the game, including extensive time at the LPGA’s NW Arkansas Championship held each year at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.
Beever has gotten to caddy the last two years for former Arkansas standout and current LPGA player Stacy Lewis along with getting to meet several other professional golfers.
“The first year (Lewis) let me hit off of two of the par 3s, and I hit the green both times, so that was cool,” Beever said. “The second year she let me putt and I drained two 30-footers for their group, and my drive was like straight down the middle. It was almost the long drive. Those were definitely highlights.”
Beever’s stay out in California might get cut short a little prematurely though. She’ll need to get back by Sept. 25 for the start of the Class 6A State Girls Golf Tournament at Big Creek Golf and Country Club in Mountain Home.
The first day of the state tournament is also the conference championship, and Siloam Springs will look to defend its 2016 6A-West Conference title.
The Lady Panthers wound up finishing fourth overall at the state tournament in 2016, and with Beever at the top of the rotation they feel like they have a good chance to contend for the program’s first state championship.
“Greenwood is in our division,” Beever said. “We beat them last year for conference. They’re number one in our division right now, and we’ve already beat them in one of the matches. So we know we can do it. If we can just play well and do good — we don’t even have to do our best — but just do well and I think we have a really good chance at winning.”
Siloam Springs golf coach Michael Robertson said Beever is a strong leader for the Lady Panthers on and off the golf course.
“What I really appreciate about Brinkley is she’s very team driven,” Robertson said. “She has individual accomplishments she wants to achieve and individual goals, but she really wanted to make each other better. She’s a great practice player, leads by example. She’s always here. She’s a great student in the school, and just does everything she can to make her teammates better on the course.”
Siloam Springs senior Brinkley Beever is a four-year varsity golfer for the Lady Panthers. Beever will participate next week in the PURE Insurance Championship in Pebble Beach, Calif., before returning to lead the Lady Panthers in the Class 6A state girls golf tournament.
Siloam Springs High School golfer Brinkley Beever chips onto the green on hole 1 at Springdale Country Club during the Springdale Har-Ber Wildcat Invitational on Aug. 3.