RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Even during his first ever golf lesson in December 2015, Nate Slack had good balance and form. Maybe a step ahead because he spent so much time on the course with his father Mike, a longtime golfer.
But now at 18 years old, professional golfer and coach Brent Belton says Slack hits about 20 yards farther than most adults.
“It’s very rare that a tall, skinny kid walks out on the driving range and says I want to learn how to play golf, and in 2.5 years he’s playing on his high school team, and the next year he’s signed for college. That’s an awesome story and it doesn’t happen often,” Belton says.
But when it does, people notice. That’s why a district Optimist Club is sponsoring him to go to a huge international tournament.
“It’s called the Optimist Junior. It’s a really historical tournament,” Slack says. “Tiger Woods has played there, he won it a bunch. Really big tournament down in Trump National in Miami.”
The Brandon Optimist Club sponsored him to compete at a recent tournament in Alabama. Slack came in second and qualified regionally to head to the Trump Regional Tournament in Doral next month.
“It’s gonna a very tough course. It’s called the Blue Monster. It’s gonna be long and hard, but I’m getting prepped, I think it will be really fun,” Slack tells us.
Slack is grateful to the Brandon Optimist Club for their confidence in him. He also thanks The Bay Pointe Golf Club in Brandon for awarding him the $1,000 Belton Scholarship, as he heads to Belhaven University in the Fall, where he will continue to hone his game.
How did this young man make it so far in the game, so quickly?
“Determination. As he states all the time, he’s out here working at it constantly,” says Belton, owner of the Bay Pointe Golf Club in Brandon.