Nolen continues success on green

By Barbara Boxleitner
jdanddoc@gmail.com
Posted 5/12/20

The golf season showed Wes Nolen how challenging it is to duplicate success.

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Nolen continues success on green

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The golf season showed Wes Nolen how challenging it is to duplicate success.

The LeTourneau University sophomore, who competed two years for Normangee High School before graduating from Bryan High School, made quite an impact as a freshman.

In just his second event, he won the 2018 Louisiana College Fall Tournament. He shot 145 (74-71) to share medalist honors with a teammate in leading the team to victory.

Nolen finished his first season with a 76.91 scoring average, fourth on the team, in a season-high 11 tournaments. He was named to the all-American Southwest Conference honorable mention team.

"I made a big jump from my senior year," he said. "I got a lot better."

Although his play the past fall wasn't up to his standards, he learned from the experience. "I was expecting too much of myself," he said. "I'm not going to win every time."

During the fall, he said, he worked especially hard to improve his mental approach, which LeTourneau head golf coach J. Paul Leslie III said has been a key for his course management.

"He's always been a very good player with an immense amount of potential," Leslie said. "Stay calm. Don't expect that you're going to birdie every hole but be mentally calm."

The coach said they make sure Nolen is physically prepared for long rounds in order to promote consistent play. "If he's hydrated and he has proper nutrition, he's not going to have those peaks and valleys," he said. "He's scrappy. He's always fighting, never giving up."

Nolen also worked to improve his putting. "I've always been a good ball striker," he said. "My putting wasn't there."

"I would push a lot of them," he said. "I grew up on really slow greens. I have quick hands. I needed to smooth out my tempo."

He finished fourth among the YellowJackets with a 75.61 scoring average over seven tournaments during the fall and spring. The shutdown of the spring season after only one event was unfortunate timing. "I was starting to play really good," he said. "I finally got everything in sync."

Nolen led the team by finishing fifth in the stroke play portion of the Battle of Camp Bowie in February. He shot 142 (67-75) and was named to the all-tournament team.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com

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