Southside’s Branch signs to play golf at Lenoir-Rhyne

Published 4:18 pm Friday, May 31, 2019

CHOCOWINITY — Southside High School golfer Trey Branch signed to play golf at the next level for Lenoir-Rhyne University next fall.

Branch didn’t start playing golf until his freshman year of high school, his father Carl Branch said. Since then, all he has done is get better.

“When he first started he was picking up the ball every hole with a triple bogey,” Carl Branch said. “Now at the end of this year he was competing at state.”

At regionals, he finished in eighth, which was eight strokes out of first place, but good enough to advance his whole team to the state level. At state, he shot a 93 on the first day on the course at the state championships, only to bounce back with an 83 the next day. A 10-stroke cut from his first day’s performance jumped him up in the standings quite a bit, as he finished tied for 31st in the tournament.

“It didn’t really hit me that (my high school career) was over with until the last green at state,” Trey Branch said. “I found a little bit of a groove in the season and feel like I finished pretty solidly. I hope to get into a few tournaments this summer to keep that competitive spirit.”

His coach Dennis Dixon was excited to see his former golfer proceed further with his playing career.

“Lenoir-Rhyne is getting a very dedicated golfer. He’s very self-motivated, and constantly trying to improve all the time,” Dixon said. “His motivation and self-determination to get better will be his biggest aspect.”

Trey Branch and his coach alike say his biggest need of improvement is the mental aspect.

“I’d probably have to say my mental aspect in trying to stay calm and collected that I need to improve,” Branch said. “Throughout the whole round I can’t let the little stuff get to me, especially on the putting green.

His coach echoed his thoughts on what he could improve on heading into Lenoir-Rhyne next year.

“The biggest part that would up his level of game would be mentally. The physical swing and mechanics, he’s good with that,” Dixon said. “It’s learning to manage emotions, especially at a more competitive level. If he has a bad day, he needs to not let it knock him down mentally.”

His parents were glowing with excitement as they watched their son sign his letter to college.

“We’re very proud,” Anita Branch said. “He put in a lot of extra time working. He’s very driven. He aspires to be perfect, and until he’s perfect he’s going to keep working.”