“From my house, it’s a one-minute bike ride. I eat breakfast, golf all day and come home for dinner.
Then I go back.”
If you’re lucky, you discover your passion early in life. If you’re really, really lucky, you live in a place that nurtures it. At the ripe old age of 11, Reese Knox has a career dream: joining the PGA tour. He’s modest, acknowledging the long road between here and there, but given his drive—in both senses of the word—it just might happen.
Summer finds Reese on his neighborhood fairways at the award-winning Antler Creek Golf Course “all the time,” he says. This is not an exaggeration. After, say, a 6:30am breakfast, he’s out the door, on his bike with a bag of golf clubs strapped to his back. Every single day. “From my house, it’s a one-minute bike ride,” says Reese. “I eat breakfast, stay at the golf course all day and come home for dinner. Then I go back.” As his dad, Jason, points out, “To anyone who plays there, Reese is a familiar face. There’s even a designated parking spot for his bike.”
Besides keeping Reese safe and active—which thrills his parents—all those hours on the course are paying off for this member of the Rocky Mountain Junior Golf Tour. After four tournaments this summer, he’s won one and earned second place in the other three. Which means that he’s ranked third on the tour among all the players in his age group in the western US region, stretching from Colorado and New Mexico to Washington and Oregon. Reese’s drive (the literal one) is the strength of his game. “Well, I can hit the ball a long way and I can find a lot of fairways,” he says. “The other day I hit 12 out of 14 fairways, so that’s pretty good.”
A Meridian Ranch childhood
Reese and twin sister, Ava, are true Meridian Ranch natives, born just three weeks after parents Jason and Jennifer moved in. Looking back, Jason says that the first year with twins was a blur. When asked how much he golfed that year (Jason is a lifelong duffer) he laughs, “I’ll give the standard golfer’s answer. Not enough!” Now, he plays most summer weekends.
However, golf wasn’t the primary reason the Knoxes chose to move to Meridian Ranch. They were looking ahead to parenthood. “We liked what Meridian Ranch offered for raising a family,” Jason says. In 2005, the Knoxes were actually among the first families to move into the community. But despite the earthmovers and fledgling amenities, they could see the potential. “We wanted a new home that was affordable. And with the rec center, pools, trails and golf course, we knew Meridian Ranch would be a good fit for our family,” says Jason. So it has.
While Reese is invariably on the course, Ava can be found at the pool or hanging out with friends in the neighborhood. Both were able to walk to their neighborhood elementary school, and Falcon Middle School, where they currently attend, is also nearby. Meridian Ranch has proven a great place to be a kid, just as their parents hoped. “There’s a real sense of community here,” says Jason. “There are lots of young families. Kids can play outside and you know there are always eyes watching out for them.”
It’s worked out well for the parents, too. Jennifer and Jason have found it to be friendly—they know their neighbors well, getting together for dinners and barbecues. The CreekView Grill is another great social connector too. Meridian Ranch is also conveniently close to the major highways, which speeds up trips to golf tournaments and, in the winter, Reese’s hockey practices at World Arena or games in Denver and Boulder. And the location near the Colorado Springs Airport is ideal. When Jason isn’t working out of his home, he’s traveling for his job as the regional director of operations for a warehousing company. “It’s a great commute to the airport,” he says. “I can leave my house and be at my gate within 30 minutes.”
Finding your tribe
“Golf can be an intimidating sport when you’re a kid,” says Jason. “But the people who run Antler Creek are fantastic. They’ve made him feel welcome, which makes all the difference in the world.” In fact, a couple of years ago, Jason told some buddies that he was going golfing with Reese for his birthday. The next thing he knew, eight grown men showed up for Reese’s birthday party to play golf with him. They brought gifts, too. Reese says that the thing he likes best about Meridian Ranch—besides the course—is the residents. “The people I golf with are 30 or 40 years older than me, but they’re really nice. I’ve had plenty of people I don’t know say, ‘hey, do you want to play nine holes?’ That’s pretty cool.”
That’s exactly the family-friendly neighborhood the Knoxes were looking for back in 2005. A welcoming place where the kids could play safely, walk to good schools and enjoy the comforts of a new, well-priced home. Who knew that it might inspire a career too?