Crawford Reeves has been positively influenced by his family since he was a little boy. Perhaps we should make that two families. The native of Greenville, SC and graduate of Eastside High School was first exposed to golf as a toddler when his father, Rob, started teaching Reeves' older brother, Austin, the basics of the game.
"I used to tag along when my dad started teaching my brother how to play the game at a young age," said Reeves. "My dad was and still is a good golfer, so he wanted to show us the game when we were young.
"Austin is two-and-a-half years older than me, so I went along with them. Soon, I started swinging a club and that is how I got interested."
As the boys grew older, they both got stronger and more proficient at the game. Eventually, it turned into a friendly competition, which was good for their respective games.
"It was a friendly, but competitive atmosphere when we were growing up," recalled Reeves. "My dad played with us, too. He can still hold his own. But, we pushed each other and that was a good thing."
Austin played football, basketball, and even a year of baseball in high school in addition to playing golf. He accepted a scholarship to play at Furman and eventually won the Southern Conference Championship in 2010 and the South Carolina Amateur in 2011.
"Austin always played all the sports," said the younger Reeves. "I gave up the other sports in the 10th grade so I could concentrate on golf and get to Clemson."
Reeves had his eye on Clemson from a very early age thanks to his second family, the Clemson golf family.
"I played a lot of golf at Thornblade (in Greenville) and was around Lucas Glover and Charles Warren when I was growing up. That had a big influence on me, along with the other Clemson players from Greenville, the Duncans (Brian, Ben) and Brent Delahoussaye."
Reeves was brought up in clothes with Tiger Paws on them, as both his father and mother (Barbara) are Clemson graduates.
Mother and father have been great role models for Reeves off the course as well. He is a three-time member of the Academic All-ACC team and is on track to become the first Tiger golfer to make that team four years in a row. Reeves, who is on pace to graduate in May, is also an academic All-America candidate this year.
"Crawford is one of the top student-athletes at Clemson, regardless of sport," said Head Coach Larry Penley.
"Academics have always been important in our family, and I have taken advantage of Vickery Hall my entire time here," said Reeves. "It's a great support system."
Reeves is coming off a strong junior year in which he was second on the 2011-12 team in stroke average (71.62), just above the 71.30 average of Corbin Mills, a First-Team All-ACC selection who decided to turn professional after his junior year. Reeves only played in the spring last year due to a fall-season back injury and had 13 of his 21 rounds at par or better.
He had consecutive top-five finishes last year and finished with a team-best 14th-place finish at the NCAA Regional. He has been Clemson's top golfer in the NCAA Tournament two of his three years as well.
He was outstanding at the 2010 NCAA Regional at the Capital City Crabapple Course in Alpharetta, GA, where he finished 13th with a 212 score. That will be the site of the 2013 NCAA National Tourney.
"We have been disappointed each of the last two years by not advancing to the national," explained Reeves. "That is a great motivation for me...to get back to the Capital City Crabapple Course. It fits our game."
Reeves had an active summer that included a top-25 finish at the Palmetto Amateur and Monroe Amateur along with a third-place finish at the South Carolina Amateur, where he had two rounds of 64.
"He would have made All-ACC last year had he played in the fall," said Penley. "He had a really good season with eight rounds at 70 or better. He is our leader and we expect an outstanding senior season from him."
With his work ethic in the classroom and on the course, Reeves is going to make his two families proud in 2012-13.