E.A. Sports Today

County golf notes

Ellison turns pro; Saks happy about Indian Oaks news; Beavers gets two aces

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Everything Jaylon Ellison had been doing with his golf career in recent years has been leading him down the path of turning professional. He has finally pulled the trigger.

The Anniston champion has moved to Atlanta for business reasons and taken the leap. The plan is to try qualifying for nearby Web.com and PGA Tour events while sharpening his game on local mini-tours.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I feel like at 36 I have a few years left where I might be at the peak of my health and wanted to give it a shot … see where I stand. “I feel like my game’s pretty close but I’ve got to make better decisions on golf course to eliminate those shots that can get you in trouble.”

Ellison tasted the pro experience by playing in several pro events as an amateur, including Cane Creek’s Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational. The catalyst for the decision was finishing in the top five of a big Emerald Coast Tour event at Dancing Rabbit.

He already has played two in his new status without taking home a check and admitted there’s a different feeling now that the stakes are a little higher.

“I’ve never really thought I’d experience the feeling but definitely it is (different),” he said. “I’ve had some really good finishes in some really good tournament as an amateur in a pro event where … you had some skin in the game but you didn’t. The last two (events) I’ve played I didn’t feel I had my best and playing as a professional I definitely had a different feeling leaving the golf course.”

He plans to return to the area to play in the Fort McClellan Pro-Invitational as a pro and he hasn’t ruled out playing in the Sunny King Charity Classic.

CLOSE TO HOME: The purchase and projected re-opening of Indian Oaks Golf Club is welcome news to the Saks golf team.

The Wildcats had been the nomads of the county high school golf scene since their home course closed in October. Ronnie Cofield’s purchase of the neighborhood facility gives the Wildcats a chance to say you can go home again.

“That’s so big for our program,” Saks coach Michael Easley said. “They’re right there in our community. We can get there and get nine holes in and the kids who have to can get to work. … It’ll be a lot better for us.”

The Wildcats had been practicing at Cane Creek and playing their home matches at Anniston Municipal. Easley is appreciative of the hospitality The Hill has extended his program, but the course doesn’t have a driving range and he isn’t keen on his team just playing nine holes.

The course also had been a home to the Alexandria and Weaver teams. Alexandria has since moved their base to Silver Lakes and Weaver has moved to Stoney Brook.

First-year Weaver coach J.D. Phillips said it was “too early” to decide if the Bearcats would return to Indian Oaks.

“I’ll talk to the others,” he said. “If they pick up Saks and Alexandria again I’ll probably stick with Stoney Brook.”

PAIR OF ACES: James Beavers hasn’t had many holes-in-one, but when he makes them, they come in bunches.

A couple years ago he scored aces in back-to-back rounds at Pine Hill Country Club. Earlier this month, he had two within a week at Cane Creek Golf Course.

In his latest pair of aces, the 64-year-old Oxford resident holed a 7-iron from 180 yards on Cane Creek’s sixth hole on Easter Sunday. Six days later, he added No. 12 with a 6-iron from 190 yards.

“It was really kind of odd to me,” Beavers said. “I had two in back-to-back rounds and they were the only ones I’ve ever had and now I have two in seven days. I’m like what’s going on.”

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