Stratton Nolen From Austin Wins Big 12 Individual Championship

Stratton Nolen

Stratton Nolen

Stratton Nolen, who grew up and learned to play golf in Austin, recently won the Big 12 individual trophy and led the Oklahoma State Men’s team to a second place finish in the championship.

In route to winning Nolen beat some of the best players in  college golf.   His six under par total at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas was one better than Beau Hossler, who plays for Texas.

Just to give some perspective on Nolen’s competition,  the UT team is ranked numer one in the country and Beau Hossler has put together one of the best seasons in college golf history, winning five tournaments along the way to nine top ten finishes in 2016.    The only University of Texas Player to win more tournaments in a single season is Ben Crenshaw.

So it was quite the victory for Nolen.  The question comes to mind, why did this happen when Nolen has had limited playing time with only four starts in 2014-15 and 14 rounds in 2015-16 with a 72.14 stroke average for this year.   Click here for more stats on the Oklahoma Cowboys’s and Nolen’s performances this year.

I was unable to reach Nolen for his comments on the experience but like lots of Austin golfers, I am familiar with his golfing history and more importantly, his character.

Breck Nolen

Breck Nolen

Nolen played his junior golf at Circle C, which is now called Grey Rock and owned by the City of Austin.  His father, Breck was an ardent supporter and primary caddie for Stratton through most of his junior golf.

Westlake Boys And GirlsTeams 2012 5A State Champions

Westlake Boys And GirlsTeams 2012 5A State Champions

They were a presence in the local golf tournaments and had a lot of success together.  Beside being father and son, they both played for Westlake High School.  Breck Nolen moved to Austin from Fort Stockton as a senior in high school.  He made the Westlake team and helped them win the 1980 State championship. In 2012, Stratton won the Texas 5A individual championship and led his team to the state championship.

Nolen’s junior golf resume reveals a history of winning.  Those of us who watched his maturation process are familiar with the Nolen family values of a strong work ethic and self belief as well as a sense of treating people with courtesy and respect.

Buck Mayers - Director of Golf At Escondido

Buck Mayers – Director of Golf At Escondido

Buck Mayers, who was the teaching professional at Circle C and Grey Rock while Nolen played there, has continued to work with Nolen during college.  Mayers is now the Directory of  Instruction at Escondido in Horseshoe Bay.  He offered these comments about Stratton.

“I started working with Stratton in the 8th grade.  His dad, a very knowledgable and accomplished player himself, felt I was a good fit.  The chemistry between Stratton and his family support team was always very good.

What i can say is, as a coach, it’s important to let the kid grow from experience to the game, intangibles matter.  Stratton is coachable, a great work ethic, has a crazy passion to the history and the game.  It was really important not to over coach him.  I knew he was hungry to learn; so when I chased him off the range, he understood.

When I said, forget the perfect positions, he knew why.  Ball behavior, get it in the hole, intestinal fortitude is learned from nose bleeds!  He got it.

Yes, he/we did video but only because visual validation and  it helped his pictures in his mind’s eye, not methodology.  Stratton is a dirt dude and I was just the jockey riding a very good horse not getting in the way of his self discovery.  He is the real deal”.

So, it comes as no surprise to Austin golfers that Stratton has been successful.  The step from junior golf and high school golf to college golf is a big one.  It is unusual that someone makes that step and is immediately successful.  So, it seems that Stratton is on track to in his progression to a successful collegiate golfing career.  He is only a sophomore in terms of his playing eligibility and he will get more starts on the team after this win.

NCAA Regional tournament fields will be announced on tomorrow, Thursday May 5th on the Morning Drive program on the Golf Channel.  It will be interesting to see where Stratton and the Cowboys wind up, as well as the UT Team.

Congratulations to Stratton Nolen on his latest golfing accomplishment.  We look forward to many more.







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