In this segment from Season 2, Episode 4 of “The Charlie Rymer Golf Show” on ESPN2, Charlie takes on the Fazio Course at Barefoot Resort & Golf with junior golf phenom Xavier “Xeve” Perez. Xeve dishes on the early-life success he’s enjoyed in the game and shows off some of his prodigious skills.
I’m in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at the Barefoot Resort. This is the Tom Fazio course. Today my guest is Xeve Perez. He’s 12 years old and a heck of a player, but he’s an even better young man. I love him and you will too. This is Ridin’ With Rymer!
(01:00): Xeve Perez, where you been kid? I’ve been looking for you everywhere.
Xeve Perez (01:11):
How you doing, sir?
Charlie Rymer (01:12):
All right. Let’s see you hit this one and then we’re going to get out on the golf course.
Xeve Perez (01:15):
Charlie Rymer (01:16):
Xeve Perez (01:16):
Let’s do this.
Charlie Rymer (01:17):
Let’s see it kid. Nice shot. We’re going to see that all day long. Get in the cart. Let’s go kid.
Xeve Perez (01:25):
Let’s do this.
Charlie Rymer (01:26):
Now, I feel a little silly because I’m about to ask a 12-year-old when they got started in golf.
Xeve Perez (01:33):
Don’t be… Don’t feel silly, sir, this is a favorite question. So I actually started since I was two and competing since I was three. My family, we actually lived in Louisiana. We lived on a golf course, which was pretty convenient and I had to see everyone getting out there, hitting golf shots, bombing balls down the middle and became mesmerized by the game ever since. And when my dad went, because he tried to get me into baseball, and I didn’t, he brought me the gloves, the bats, all the gear. By the time he went on deployed and he came back, I was a full-blown golfer.
Charlie Rymer (02:08):
Well, I know your mom and dad are with you a lot. You play a lot of tournaments. I’ve met you through the Veteran Golfers Association, which is based in Pinehurst. And that Veteran Golfers Association serves over 10,000 vets and their families. You’re the, and their family’s part. Tell me a little bit about your experience with the Veteran Golfers Association.
Xeve Perez (02:30):
It’s just such a cool place to be in. If it wasn’t for the Veterans Golf Association, and me meeting a very close friend of mine, Mr. Josh Peyton and Ms. Rachel Peyton, I wouldn’t be sitting in the cart with you right now.
Charlie Rymer (02:42):
Boy, they’re great folks. Aren’t they?
Xeve Perez (02:44):
Yes, sir. They’re the best.
Charlie Rymer (02:45):
Your dad served on the US army special forces for 33 years. Is that right?
Xeve Perez (02:50):
Charlie Rymer (02:51):
Wow. That’s quite a career.
Xeve Perez (02:52):
Yes. He’s such an amazing parent, and my mom is a saint to me. She’s the one who keeps me in line and say, “Hey, you better stay humble.”
Charlie Rymer (03:01):
Yeah. She’s going to do that for a long time too.
Xeve Perez (03:04):
Yes, sir. And you know my father, before I had my coach, he was my coach, and he taught me the fundamentals, the basics. And I’m just so blessed to have two loving, dedicated parents on my side.
Charlie Rymer (03:16):
Now how many golf tournaments have you won? Have you even tracked how many that you want?
Xeve Perez (03:20):
I have over 300 wins, sir.
Charlie Rymer (03:22):
Xeve Perez (03:23):
Over 300 wins.
Charlie Rymer (03:24):
What do you do with all of those trophies?
Xeve Perez (03:26):
I got a… We’re running out of room. We have a trophy case, but I’m starting to get it pretty full.
Charlie Rymer (03:31):
That’s a good problem to have, isn’t it?
Xeve Perez (03:32):
Charlie Rymer (03:34):
You like playing in the wind?
Xeve Perez (03:35):
Yes. For me, it’s like for how my swing works, the wind is perfect.
Charlie Rymer (03:41):
Here. Let me get this driver out. I can’t hit, but I can pull the club out for you. You got all the cool gear, you know that?
Xeve Perez (03:46):
Aw. Thank you, sir.
Charlie Rymer (03:49):
All right. I know you hadn’t played in a couple of days. I want to see what you got here.
Xeve Perez (03:53):
All right. Let’s do it.
Charlie Rymer (03:54):
Now, we’re playing a little into the wind here. Do you have a shot that you hit into the wind or you just blow right through it?
Xeve Perez (04:00):
Right through it, sir.
Charlie Rymer (04:02):
Right through it. All right. Let’s see it. So here’s what’s so cool. Your fundamentals, and you know this, are really good, but it all starts with the grip.
Xeve Perez (04:15):
That’s one of the most important parts of the game. Because you can’t grip, you can’t swing. And my grip is nothing fancy or anything. It’s just, set up with my right hand, pick out my target. And then once I feel comfortable, like I think this is a comfortable position, then I interlock. So like you see right there.
Charlie Rymer (04:35):
Jack Nicholas interlock, Tiger Woods interlock.
Xeve Perez (04:38):
Locks. All the greats.
Charlie Rymer (04:39):
Xeve Perez interlocks. You might ought to think about interlock, folks.
Xeve Perez (04:43):
And then it’s pretty easy. Just set up, check your target out and swing away.
Charlie Rymer (04:47):
Yeah, that is so good.
Xeve Perez (04:49):
Thank you, sir.
Charlie Rymer (04:49):
You want to get better at this game? Copy that grip right there, folks. Copy it. This kid’s the real deal. That’s awesome.
Xeve Perez (05:01):
Thank you, sir.
Charlie Rymer (05:02):
Nice. Stinking wind don’t bother you, does it?
Xeve Perez (05:05):
No, sir. It’s kind of my thing.
Charlie Rymer (05:08):
Now, who are your… I’m sure you get this question a million times, but I want to know favorite golfers and why?
Xeve Perez (05:15):
I love Mr. Rickie Fowler. He’s one of my favorites, Mr. Bryson DeChambeau. Mr. Cameron Champ. And obviously Mr. Tiger Woods. Come on, he’s one of the best.
Charlie Rymer (05:27):
There you go. Okay. So let’s start with Ricky…
Xeve Perez (05:28):
But there’s one more though. There’s a junior golfer that I follow and I try to be just like him. You know who that it is?
Charlie Rymer (05:36):
Has he got a last name of Woods?
Xeve Perez (05:38):
Charlie Rymer (05:38):
Oh. I appreciate that. Have you met any of the older players? A little closer to my age. Some veterans and that sort of stuff. Because all the guys you’re talking about are the young guys.
Xeve Perez (05:50):
Charlie Rymer (05:51):
Who are some of the favorite guys you’ve met? Maybe a little bit older.
Xeve Perez (05:54):
So I met Mr. Erik Compton, who’s a very, very good golfer.
Charlie Rymer (05:58):
He’s a double heart transplant recipient. Did you know that?
Xeve Perez (06:01):
Charlie Rymer (06:02):
Yeah, really good player.
Xeve Perez (06:03):
And a very… He’s such a gentleman too. Very amazing person.
Charlie Rymer (06:08):
How do you play all these golf tournaments? You have outside interest. Obviously, you’re practicing a lot. You got to do the school thing too. How do you go about doing that?
Xeve Perez (06:19):
So mainly on school, I’m actually homeschooled. I do Georgia Connections Academy. So a regular day of school would be, I wake up say about 7, 7:30, and I have three classes. Probably I’ll do, let’s say math, probably, nine o’clock all the way to 11.
Charlie Rymer (06:34):
See if I were doing math, I’d do it from nine o’clock to like 9:02, that’d be enough math for me.
Xeve Perez (06:40):
And after that I eat my lunch and we head straight over to the course and I’ll practice all the way to sundown. And if the teacher needs me, because we actually have a big conversion van, it’s a big blue van, we call it the X-man mobile. I’ll do my schoolwork in there.
Charlie Rymer (06:56):
Wow. Sounds like you guys have got it figured it out.
Xeve Perez (06:58):
Charlie Rymer (06:59):
Now, you’re just 12. I know you love playing golf, you’ve had a lot of success. Looking forward, what are some of your goals that you have?
Xeve Perez (07:11):
My ultimate dream is to definitely play golf on tour. I also like to play college golf and hopefully get a tour card. And one thing is for sure, I like to win the majors, sir.
Charlie Rymer (07:23):
You got to aim big, right?
Xeve Perez (07:25):
It’s either go big or go home.
Charlie Rymer (07:27):
All right. We got to par three here. 152 yards into the win. What club is that for you?
Xeve Perez (07:33):
Definitely, I hit a seven, nine.
Charlie Rymer (07:35):
I’d put you on a six. We’ll see what we come up with. I told you it was a six. Good swing though.
Xeve Perez (07:45):
Thank you, sir.
Charlie Rymer (07:45):
When I was your age, we didn’t have Golf Channel. There really wasn’t much of a source for learning about golf. It would just be like the old grumpy guys at the golf course that would pass down the stories. But your age, if you want to learn something about golf, golf courses, players and history, architecture, all of that’s available to you. Have you thought much about architecture? What kind of courses you like? You like the newer courses, older courses or you just like to get out on any course?
Xeve Perez (08:33):
I’d say there’s… Most of the courses I played that are my favorites. I played Pebble Beach. Balshaw, I met you there. I got my fifth hole in one.
Charlie Rymer (08:42):
We did. Yeah. And you’re 12?
Xeve Perez (08:45):
Charlie Rymer (08:46):
Yeah. Fifth hole in one. He’s 12.
Xeve Perez (08:49):
State Valley’s one of my favorites too.
Charlie Rymer (08:50):
Yeah. You got some good ones on that list and I’m going to give you a piece of advice, okay?
Xeve Perez (08:54):
Charlie Rymer (08:55):
This game is already taking you to a lot of really neat places. Make sure that, as you travel the world, that you take some time and some photos and maybe write some stuff down, and you’ll see a lot. I try to do the same thing. When I was playing the PGA tour, my wife and I would travel together and I’d take one day a week off and I would go see something, thinking it might be the only chance I ever get to see it.
In some cases, that was right. If I were playing in San Diego, I’d go over to the San Diego Zoo with my wife that day. I’d take a day off and enjoy the world, because golf is great in that you get to see the world, but a lot of people get so caught up in golf, see the hotel and the golf course, and the hotel and the golf course. And you could be in a really cool place and not even know it. So get out and see some things when you’re getting a chance to travel the world.
And the other thing is you need to come out of your shell and be a little bit nicer to people.
Xeve Perez (09:52):
Charlie Rymer (09:58):
We’ll work on that a little bit. How about that, buddy?
Xeve Perez (10:01):
Charlie Rymer (10:02):
All right. I want to see one more great drive from you. Got a little par four here. You should be able to handle this. And water comes in a little bit on the left. It doesn’t bother you, does it?
Xeve Perez (10:11):
Charlie Rymer (10:12):
I didn’t think so. That’s how you hit a golf ball.
Xeve Perez (10:20):
Charlie Rymer (10:24):
All right, Xeve, last chance to make another birdie today. That looks a little slow to me. You’re going to make sure you get it there?
Xeve Perez (10:32):
You can’t leave it short.
Charlie Rymer (10:33):
All right. Let’s do it.
Xeve Perez (10:35):
Let’s do it.
Charlie Rymer (10:42):
Can’t make them all kid. I’m going to give you the rest of that one. Hey, really appreciate you coming and spending time with us here at Myrtle Beach.
Xeve Perez (10:49):
Thank you so much for having me, sir. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much.
Charlie Rymer (10:54):
I think you’re going to get this game figured out one of these days and we can’t wait to see where this game takes you.
Xeve Perez (10:59):
Aw, thank you so much for the kind words, sir.
Charlie Rymer (11:01):
You got it, kid.
Xeve Perez (11:02):
Charlie Rymer (11:03):
Let’s get out of here and get us some lunch. I’ll buy you a cheeseburger. How about that?
Xeve Perez (11:06):
Sounds good, sir.
Charlie Rymer (11:07):