On a warm sunny morning, more than 10 years ago an 11-year-old boy made a decision, unaware of what his future held. He decided to stop looking at the golf course surrounding his neighborhood and begged his mom to take him to the driving range. Nathan Anderson, senior business major and Wesleyan golfer, never knew years later his decision would become his whole world.
“I kind of got off to a late start,” Anderson said. “I played around, and I got hooked! It was that easy.”
Anderson said his favorite golfer and role model is Tiger Woods.
“He could do things that other golfers couldn’t do,” Anderson said. “Whenever he was under pressure to make a putt, then he would every time.”
Anderson said what he likes most about golf is getting in contention in a tournament with a chance to win. He also said he likes all the pressure on him and then coming through to win.
Gale Anderson, secretary of kinesiology and Anderson’s mother, said it has been an absolute joy to watch her son play golf, even through the ups and downs of the game. And him winning the Jack Nicklaus Award was one of those ups.
Gale said she was able to be at nationals in Salem, Oregon when Nathan made it and took 2nd in Nationals, one stroke away from taking the national title.
Gale said, as tears started to well in her eyes, she was the one who got the privilege to call Nathan.
“I was balling, because I knew how much it meant to him,” Gale said. “As a mom that was over the top. I mean we were all crying. Well I was.”
Gale said when she was at the awards assembly she was excited the entire time.
“It was just absolutely so neat,” Gale said. “To get to experience the whole thing from the whole get go.”
Gale said her story about how Nathan got started in golf is probably different from Nathan’s.
She said they drove around the golf course for eight years before they ever played it .
“As a little kid he would always ask, and I thought by putting him in these little golf camps during the summer it would suffice,” Gale said. “I would let him go to the driving range, so he knew that much.”
Gale also said without her knowing it, Nathan had asked his father too, and both said they would take him but they never did.
Gale said after Nathan asked several more times, she finally felt comfortable taking him out on the golf course, so one day when he was bored, she decided to take him.
“He was kind of a real couch potato,” Gale said. “We would make him go ride his bicycle to go get some exercise.”
Gale said Nathan is at the golf course everyday working on his game, even now.
“When the golf bug bit him, it bit him real good,” Gale said. “No more couch potato after that.”
Anderson went to Burleson High School and then attended McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas before transferring to Wesleyan in 2011.
Upon winning the Jack Nicklaus Award in 2011, Anderson got the chance to met Jack Nicklaus. Anderson said he knew he was going to meet him, but when Nicklaus walked into the room it became a reality.
Anderson said he hopes to play professionally after he graduates, but has not put too much thought into it.
“I am kind of just going with the flow right now,” Anderson said. “I’m not too worried, just trying to stay in the present.”
Rachel Peel, email@example.com