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Senior golfer works to improve mentally

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Senior golfer works to improve mentally
Photo curtesy of Texas State Sports Information.

Scoring a 75 in a round of golf is something few ever achieve. For one senior golfer, he consistently made this score last season but is still only thinking of ways to improve for this upcoming semester.

Xander Basson, senior golfer, has been playing golf since he was about 4 years old and began playing competitively until he was 13 years old.

“My dad took me out (to the driving range) with him when I was around 3 or 4 years old, and then we would go around some different holes at our local golf club every Friday,” Basson said. “I actually was a big tennis player when I was younger until I was about 13 years old and then I started playing more competitive golf. I actually won my state title when I was 13.”

Basson, from a young age, has tried modeling his game after his idol: 2012 and 2014 Masters Champion Bubba Watson.

“He’s been my role model all my life,” Basson said. “Just the way he plays golf and the way he creates his shots is amazing.”

Basson has a few pre-round routines that are vital to his confidence during rounds.

“I just listen to some music, normally pop and African music since that’s my language,” Basson said.

Basson still sees room for himself to improve even after a successful season last year.

“I’d say (last year) I was pretty average,” Basson said. “It wasn’t a great season. Mentally I didn’t think I was stable, but now I’m mentally more stable, just getting into the groove of my senior year. Now I know how things are going. I’d say last season was pretty average and this year will be a good semester for us.”

When talking about Basson’s commitment to Texas State, one of the many selling points was the campus itself.

“It’s a beautiful campus,” Basson said. “I visited a few other schools before I came here and Texas State was the prettiest campus I’d ever seen. I love the river, the people are friendly, and the weather is great over here.”

Another main point was the coaching staff here at the university.

“Before I came to Texas State I was at Midland College, a junior college in west Texas,” Basson said. “So, I sent my resume to (the coach) and he started recruiting me. He also went to some of my tournaments up there too. We have a great coaching staff here, and they do a lot for us every day. They support us in everything we do.”

Basson also knows the strengths and weaknesses of his game like many successful golfers do.

“My strength would be my chipping, and that helps my putting,” Basson said. “You won’t have those long putts if you are chipping as good. But my weakness would be when I need to hit those long putts after a short pitch.”

When being critical of his game, Basson put it plainly on what he needed to improve on: stronger mentally.

Basson is more than ready to get started with his team this upcoming season. He knows where they need to improve and is confident they can.

“We have a really good team camaraderie, but if we start playing bad, it goes the same way with the team,” Basson said. “I’d like to see us go forward in our semester stronger because we have a pretty good system going right now. Mentally we can all be better, and we need to be more positive about things we are facing.”

Basson is confident he will be able to take his golf talents farther after finishing his final season with the Bobcats.

“Golf is the game for a lifetime,” Basson said. “You don’t have to be great right out of college, and you have time to improve and get better if you want to make a future out of it.”

Golf is a game that is sometimes forgotten about when looking over sports in college. But Basson is looking to put Texas State in the centerfold this season, and with the confidence and game to back it up, it looks like he just might do so.

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