One swing of the golf club and Nathan Anderson was hooked.
The Burleson native and Texas Wesleyan junior business major says he begged his mother, Gayle, to take him golfing when he was a middle schooler. This weekend he received the Jack Nicklaus Award at the Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Anderson says. “I didn’t expect it at all.”
The Golf Coaches Association of America gives the award to their “Players of the Year” in NCAA Division I, II and III, the NAIA – which Anderson won the award for – and the National Junior College Athletic Association. It’s sort of like the Heisman Award for golfers.
Anderson is incredibly affable – he converses with a laidback charm, and his easygoing tone belies a quiet knowledge of golf that many weekend hackers would kill to possess. Like many talented athletes, he makes it look easy.
Oh, and on top of that he maintained a nearly 3.5 overall GPA. Not bad at all.
Success has followed him. As a freshman, he was part of the national championship McLennan Community College team. And he’s part of a longer tradition of excellence at Texas Wesleyan. Since 1952, the school has had 79 All-Americans, 31 under legendary coach Cornett. This year alone, four players were named All-Americans. The Rams have won nine consecutive RRAC championships.
“He has some of the best emotional management I’ve seen in college,” Bobby Cornett, Texas Wesleyan head golf coach who was recently inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, said. “He doesn’t do one thing particularly well, but he does everything at a very high level.”
The future is still unwritten for Anderson, who said he would like to turn pro. He still has two more semesters on the Texas Wesleyan golf team to bring home NAIA National Championship.
Anderson doesn’t seem like someone who gets to anxious, but he says, when meeting someone as big as Nicklaus, he does.
“It’s very cool,” Anderson says. “I’ll just have to take it as it goes.”