When Colton Naslund fired a 75 to qualify for the 15th annual North Carolina Junior boys 13 and under championship as an eighth grader, he started to see for the first time that he had raw talent that could carry him far in the game of golf.
Naslund, a current junior at Marvin Ridge, received his first set of clubs when he was 8 years old and quickly began spending his afternoons on the course at Pine Island Country Club with his dad. Since, he’s transformed into one of the county’s most capable golfers.
“I started playing when I was 8 and began competing in junior events and programs,” Naslund explained. “But it wasn’t until middle school that I realized I could be competitive, so I started getting serious about it and I think that’s paid off.”
For the last three seasons, Naslund has been an integral piece of the always-competitive Marvin Ridge golf team. As a sophomore, he shot a team-low 151 at the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3A state championship. His score was good enough for a 12th place individual finish and helped catapult the Mavs to a bronze medal.
But for Naslund that wasn’t good enough. Determined to improve his performance for an even better junior season, he said he spent the majority of his summer on the course and competing in tournaments and his dedication paid off. At the Mid Pines Junior Amateur on August 24 and 25, Naslund fired a 149 for a 10th place finish – the second-best performance from any competitor in the Class of
The self-taught golfer climbed to the top of the Maverick team for his junior season and once he got there, didn’t disappoint. At the Class 3A Western Regional championship, Naslund fired a 70 and finished fourth in the region, setting the tone for the Mavs and helping lead them to a first place team finish – something Naslund said he’d wanted to spearhead all season. At the Class 3A state championships, his 149 put him in seventh place and helped seal the Mavs second-place team finish.
Now, Naslund has another accolade to add to his name as the 2014 Union County Weekly Boys Golfer of the Year.
“I definitely got better as the year went on,” Naslund said of his impressive performances. “I was fortunate enough at the end of the year to piece it all together and play well in the closing tournaments.”
But he was quick to acknowledge that he wasn’t alone in his effort to continue the recent success of Marvin Ridge golf. Teammates Zack Swanson, N.C. State commit DK Kim, Ty Kozlowski and Chase Cochrane were all integral pieces of the team effort, Naslund said.
“I think support from the team helped us play better towards the end of the year,” Naslund explained. “We have a great time. The biggest thing with this group of guys is motivating each other to do our best and compete and give each other that
Even with his impressive junior season, Naslund isn’t looking to slow down. He’ll be competing in several major tournaments over the summer in hopes to grab the attention of college recruiters and improve even more for his senior
“For my senior season, I really expect some of the younger guys on the team to step up and play well and I expect myself to improve more as well,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m already looking forward to it. We’re going to keep Marvin Ridge golf alive and we should contend for states again, just like the last few