Sam Reed's passion for golf has always run deep.
Taking after his father, Christopher, the Beverly High grad first began honing his skills at age 11. He competed in the junior league at the recently closed Middleton Golf Course and spent many days on the Blue Rock Golf Course in Cape Cod to boot.
By high school, Reed had blossomed into a key competitor for the Panthers' varsity golf squad and soon realized that the game he loved could serve as more than just an outlet. It could be a career.
That's when Coastal Carolina University and its pro golf management program came in to play.
"I had talked to my uncle, Pat, who worked as a (golf) pro on the Cape and he told me there were schools that offered classes in golf management; that was news to me," said Reed. "So during my junior year (in high school) my dad and I decided to take a trip down south to see some of the schools. When I visited Coastal and talked to the director of the program I just knew it was the right spot."
Soon to enter his sophomore year at the South Carolina institution, Reed is now fully submerged in the ins and outs of the golf world.
While he's currently enrolled as a business major, the 19-year-old spends much of his time both on the course and in the classroom minoring in pro golf management. At this stage, Reed is studying the 'outside operations' portion of working at a golf club, something he's become very familiar with after a summer internship at The Golf Club at Turner Hill in Ipswich.
"I literally worked there as an outside operations guy, dealing with the carts and the bag room and what not," said Reed. "I learned a ton. There's really a lot of nice people there and whenever I wasn't working, or after my shift was over, I'd try to get out and play."
It was Director of Golf Nate Hopely that granted Reed the opportunity at the renowned North Shore links haven, while head golf professional Mike Brown showed him the ropes and assisted in his growth as a player. The experience has given Reed a larger advantage as he gears up for year two at the college level.
Saying Reed eats, sleeps and breathes golf might be an understatement.
"I build my schedule so that my classes are done by 12 p.m. and I can spend the rest of the day just practicing and playing golf," said Reed, who has vastly improved his game since graduating from Beverly High and is down to a 5 handicap.
"In terms of classes, as a freshman you have to take qualifying level courses and they test you on that and see if you can move on to level one, which I'm in now," he continued. "There's four levels total."
It's still early, but the determined Reed appears well on his way to a career on the links. He made the President's List last year at Coastal with a GPA over 4.0, and clearly his time on the course has paid off as he's shed countless strokes off his game in the past two-plus years.
The end goal? Become a club pro and try to give aspiring golfers the same opportunities he's had.
"I'd definitely like to be a head golf professional somewhere," said Reed. "I'm working on developing the teaching aspects of the game as well as that's a big part of it."