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Golfer hits competitive prime as senior

Noller tees it up against the state’s best in senior series

Staff writer

Golf has been a part of Don Noller’s life since childhood, when his father first put a club in his hands.

He and his brother started with some old wood-shafted clubs, cut down and wrapped in tape. Noller said his father would take them out and let them hit a few holes “until his patience wore out,” and then he would send them to the clubhouse to play while he finished his game.

He has always enjoyed recreational golf, Noller said, but playing in tournaments brings out his competitive nature. Since hitting the age of 50, Noller has competed in the Kansas Golf Association Senior Series.

Men ages 50 to 64 from across the state compete and earn points based on the scores they shoot, their handicap, and participation. The top 15 golfers qualify to be part of the KGA Seniors championship team. Noller has made the team three times.

Noller competed in 10 events this year, earning an invitation to the Senior Series Championship at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wichita in September.

Each year at season’s end, Kansas and Missouri senior golfers square off in the Ozark Senior Challenge, a two-day Ryder Cup style tournament, featuring team best-ball and alternate-shot rounds and head-to-head competition.

Noller and the Kansas team trailed going into second-day individual competition Oct. 17 at Wolf Creek Golf Club in Olathe. However, the team rallied in head-to-head matches to win the tournament, 13 ½ points to 10 ½ points, a second consecutive victory.

Noller’s competitive streak already has him looking ahead to a 12th consecutive year playing in the senior series.

Last modified Oct. 26, 2017

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