Every week KMIR teams up with Pete Carlson’s Golf & Tennis to honor a standout student-athlete. This week’s title goes to Palm Desert senior Raymond Navis as the local golfer is swinging his way towards the U.S. Open.
Imagine growing up and moving around the country with your family four times and landing in the ‘Golf Capital of the World’. That’s been the life for Raymond Navis. It’s a good thing he’s a golfer.
“I played my first tournament when I was ten,” Navis said. “I actually won my first tournament, so (I) got started on the junior golf grind at age ten and just kept going with it.”
Now 19-years-old and a 2018 Palm Desert graduate, Navis is trying to get on the pro golf grind.
“I played in the U.S. Open local qualifier at Andalusia Country Club and I shot a 68,” Navis said. “It was a solid round. Then I qualified for the U.S. Open sectionals.”
What better place to practice than where the pro’s come to play. Navis trains at PGA West with the master instructor who believes the senior has what it takes.
“The U.S. Open is the ultimate test in golf,” Bryan Lebedevitch, master instructor at PGA West Golf Academy, said. “It’s the hardest set up of the year for PGA tour guys so you have to think about that going in. He just made it through the sectional qualifier which is 18-holes, now he’s going up to Portland for the 36-hole qualifier. He’s probably going to see tougher conditions and a very good field of golfers who are looking to get into Shinnecock. If you are to get through, you’re on to the hardest test in men’s golf, the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills (New York).”
Currently ranked 96 in the nation by Junior Golf Score Board, Navis is swinging towards his ultimate dream.
“Make it on tour and win a couple majors,” Navis said.
The 2018 Aztec graduate is heading to college on a full ride golf scholarship.
“I’m going to play at Loyola Marymount,” Navis said. “(I’m) Super excited for that. Love the coaches, love the strength coaches, everyone’s been really fantastic.”
It seems it was almost fate for Navis to end up in the ‘Golf Capital of the World’, graduating as a member of the 2nd top golf team in the state.
“I got to play a lot of new courses, got to play with some of the best players in the state of California,” Navis explained. “It’s been a lot of fun. I’m glad I got to move out here.”