Photo By Juliette St. Romain
Juliette St. Romain
Ole Miss junior Beau Briggs is a member of the Ole Miss Golf Team. He finds it challenging and rewarding to be a full time student and athlete and hopes one day to become a professional golfer, but he knows it takes hard work to get there.
“The first time I swung a club, I was 3, but I have been playing competitively and seriously since I was 12,” he said. “I didn’t really think about Ole Miss until I came here on a visit, a recruiting visit. I fell in love with Oxford and the university, which led to me committing a month later.”
Briggs has a demanding schedule. “The sport is hard,” he said. “It’s a weird sport. Even if you work really hard. Even if you outwork everybody else – that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll play the best. It’s a challenge and something to strive for every day.”
He said golf is both a mental and physical sport. “When you are first starting out and in high school, it’s very physical,” he said, “but when you get to college, it’s 98 percent mental. Everybody is good in college. It’s just what’s going on between the years that separates people.”
With golf, you do not have to be strong, but Briggs said lifting weights and having 7 a.m. workouts helps performance.
“The weightlifting is more for your body to take more of the abuse you put it through,” he said. “You swing fast, and it is very one-sided. With, say, basketball or football, you are using different parts of your body, but with golf, it’s just one swing, one way. It’s hard on your neck and your back, and your body has to be strong enough to hold up when playing a 36 hole day for 10 plus hours.”
You can find Briggs at the Ole Miss Golf Course every day practicing. “In season, I play every day for at least an hour,” he said.
Rain or shine, the facility is equipped with an indoor practice field with hitting bays and nets. This comes in handy when Oxford weather is 20 degrees.
“My workouts this year are at 7 a.m. instead of the typical 6 a.m. that I’m used too,” he said. “I know that doesn’t sound like a big difference, but it is huge.”
His workouts usually last about an hour, and he incorporates cardio into his schedule a few days each week. After that, he then goes home and gets ready for class. After class and lunch, he returns to practice.
“Practice everyday technically starts around 2 p.m., but I am always out here before then,” he said.
The number of hours Briggs practices daily varies. Today, he arrived at 1:30 p.m., and will not leave until 6 p.m. or until the sun begins to set.
Briggs said school sometimes interferes with his practice schedule. “It hits you pretty hard, pretty quick,” he said. “Freshman year, you learn to adapt and time management very quickly.”
Joseph Masson, a fellow Ole Miss junior and Briggs’ roommate, said Briggs balances his sport and challenging studies.
“Beau’s probably got one of the harder majors on the golf team, being an economics major,” he said, “so he has to put a decent amount of study time in, which can be difficult considering he’s playing golf during the majority of the daylight hours.
“It’s never gotten to him though. He’s still his laid-back self and still allows himself time to hang out with his friends. Golf keeps him on a pretty strict schedule, which I think helps him out because it keeps him focused.”
Briggs said golf gives him a goal. “When good things happen after hard work, that is definitely a positive,” he said.