Bailey Dixon knows what it’s like to be involved in pressure situations.
As a sophomore, the Lakewood golfer finished the 2A District 1 tournament tied for the final berth to the Class 2A state tournament, but lost in a tiebreaker playoff. She found herself in a similar playoff at the end of last season’s district tournament, but emerged victorious to advance to state, where she made the cut and finished 36th.
This spring, she’s been one of the top five golfers in the Northwest Conference, with multiple top-10 tournament finishes, partly because of her mental toughness. The fact that she hits long off the tee doesn’t hurt either.
“She’s the first golfer at Lakewood to stay up with the big hitters around the league,” Cougars coach Chris Walster said. “She’s 5-foot-10 and has long arms and legs and can really drive the ball. We played at a tournament at Gamble Sands in Brewster (last month), with about 120 players, and she won the long drive contest. And she’s a smart player, she really thinks everything through.”
Here are five things to know about Dixon:
1. She considers herself somewhat of a risk-taker on the course. “I’ve always been a long hitter, and I like to take chances,” she said. “Sometimes instead of laying up, I’ll try to go over the water; it just depends on how I’m playing that day. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but it pays off a lot of the time.”
2. She was introduced to the game by family members. She started playing golf regularly as an eighth-grader at the behest of her father, Scott Dixon, and grandfather, Michael Dixon. “During the summers, my grandpa lives on Camaloch Golf Course on Camano Island,” she said. “He’s a really good golfer — he has a 3 handicap. He was my first coach, and he’s given me a lot of encouragement. He plays with my dad in the summer a lot, and I tag along. I like to play with them because it’s relaxing. I can just go and play my game. I think I can beat my dad now. I probably couldn’t have (beaten him) last year.”
3. She shot her personal-best score at Camaloch last summer. Playing with her father and grandfather, Dixon recorded an 80. “I remember that I started off well,” she said. “On the fourth hole I made an insane putt for birdie. I realized I was playing pretty well, and I (carded) three more birdies after that. Everything I hit was going straight. I was so happy after that round. I still have the scorecard.”
4. She’s been involved in student leadership groups. “I’ve been a class officer since I was a sophomore, and this year I’m the Associated Student Body secretary,” said Dixon, who was a member of the Lakewood girls soccer team in the fall. “We do a lot of activities like organizing class competitions, homecoming and prom, and small fund-raisers to help raise money, as well as managing budgets. I’ve learned that I like being involved behind the scenes to put things together. I definitely want to join clubs and intramural sports in college.”
5. She’s headed to Oregon State University. “I fell in love with Corvallis, and I like the fact that it’s the perfect distance from home — not too far, not too close,” she said. “(OSU) has a large engineering program that I’m interested in. I’ve always been good at math and enjoyed STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in general, so I think that will spark an interest in college.”