Young Plum golfer Wes Lorish making his mark
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Ron Lucas is a PGA professional who has been involved in the golf business for more than 40 years.
He's seen many promising young players over the years, including Tom Watson and Greg Norman before they made it big.
None have impressed Lucas as much as Wes Lorish, who Lucas calls “far and away the best prospect I've seen.”
Not bad for someone who first picked up a golf club only four years ago. Even more impressive is the fact that Wes, a Plum resident, is just 7 years old.
“For his age, he's well advanced,” said Lucas, who coaches and mentors Wes as part of his job as director of the Pittsburgh district of the U.S. Golf Local League. “The young man definitely has a future ahead of him. He's going to be a star some day.”
Wes, who will be a second-grader at Pivik Elementary, is one of six Pittsburgh junior golfers who have qualified for the 2014 USGLL National Championship, which will be held Aug. 4-7 at the Traditions at the Glen Golf Course and Resort in Johnson City, New York.
Among the six players Lucas will take to New York will be two each from three age groups: 8-10, 11-12 and 13-14. Although Wes is only 7, he'll play in the 8-10 division.
“Players come from all over the country. It's similar to Williamsport and the Little League championships,” Lucas said. “We went up there last year, and our team won the TRI Award, which stands for Teamwork, Respect and Integrity. It was a great experience for everyone involved, so we decided to go back this year.
“Wes will be a great representative of Pittsburgh.”
Their son's golf talent has come as a surprise to his parents, John and Melissa Lorish.
“My husband plays golf, but he's not a big-time golfer. He just plays casually,” said Melissa. “When my son was 3 he just picked up a club and started playing. He's got some kind of natural talent, we've been told by a bunch of people.”
His swing came naturally, without coaching or instruction.
“Ron (Lucas) said you really can't do lessons with Wes,” Melissa said. “Because his swing is so good you don't want to mess with it.”
Wes participated in a golf camp in Murrysville last summer. One of the instructors came away so impressed with Wes that he spoke to his parents afterwards.
“He told us we needed to be doing more with him,” Melissa said. “He said his swing is unbelievable, and what he's doing is so advanced for his age. He actually got us in contact with Ron Lucas.”
Lucas got Wes involved with the USGLL junior program, a national organization which teaches the game to kids age 6-18. There are eight USGLL teams in the Pittsburgh area that compete against each other in a team match-play format. It was his performance in those matches that earned Wes a spot in the USGLL national tournament.
“I saw Wes's talent right away. He's a lefty, and you don't see many of those,” Lucas said. “He has a lot of natural golf abilities. I've been helping him with his golf fundamentals. He's going to have some nice opportunities down the road.”
Wes excels at all aspects of the game. He regularly outplays bigger, older competitors and is a standout when his team conducts skills competitions at practice sessions.
“Wes has a well-rounded game. And he definitely has no fear,” Lucas said. “He has the mental game, the drive, the personality and the demeanor — that's all part of it.”
From the time he started at the age of 3, Wes has been crazy about golf.
“He absolutely loves it. He's obsessed with it,” Melissa said.
“I have to yell at him all the time to quit hitting divots in the carpet.
“You wouldn't think a little kid would be so into golf with the attention span and all that. Our neighbors are always telling us about how he practices outside for hours.”
Wes also played youth baseball in Plum but has given it up to focus on golf.
“It was hard this past season doing baseball and golf together,” Melissa said. “He loves baseball, but he's a little bit better at golf.”
Lucas, who coached college golf at Robert Morris University, believes Wes has a bright future in the game.
“He's definitely ahead of his time, no doubt about it,” Lucas said. “He's going to have a lot of opportunities for whatever he wants to do.”
While many young golfers idolize Tiger Woods, Wes looks up to another professional golfer, a fellow left-hander.
“Bubba Watson's his hero,” Melissa said. “He thinks Bubba's the best.”
Wes hopes to someday play on the PGA Tour, like Bubba.
“Wes has big dreams,” said his mom. “He's thinking he's going to be a professional golfer some day. We're not ones to keep pushing him. Right now, he loves it.”
Dave Schrecengost is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers must be creative in providing snaps for linebackers
- Rossi: Brawl for ADs between Pitt and WVU
- Penguins’ Maatta tests positive for mumps; Bortuzzo, Greiss negative
- Veteran tight end Miller’s blocking skill crucial to success to Steelers running game
- Fall from Hazelwood roof kills man
- Toys for Tots fails to deliver; local charities scramble
- Time is of essence for Pitt in finding football coach, athletic director
- Fleury’s career-best 6th shutout lifts Penguins over Avalanche in overtime
- Icy roads, cold causing school delays, wrecks in Western Pa.
- Analysis: Misunderstood Chryst served Pitt well
- First Niagara to cut 200 jobs; Pittsburgh impact unclear