The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

Wes Domeck: bringing a military perspective and Van Halen to the golf course since 1992

Photo+provided+by+Wes+Domeck
Photo provided by Wes Domeck

Enraged over a missed 7-foot putt to win the tournament, Trevor Price walked away from the green to throw his putter back in the bag, assuming his coach was long gone. However, as Price walked away, he heard the well-known lyrics of “Panama” by Van Halen from the side of the green.
The senior captain of the Linfield men’s golf team looked up to see his soft-spoken assistant coach, Wes Domeck, singing the lyrics of a song the team sang just that morning. Price quickly realized Domeck was there to ground him, and keep him focused on the last few holes. Price continued to birdie the next hole, leading him to his first top-3 finish in a collegiate tournament, all to the thanks of Domeck and his ability to turn any situation around.
While a moment like that isn’t common on a golf course, it shows the impact Domeck has had on the Linfield men’s golf team.
The Ohio native joined the team in the early spring of 2022 as an assistant coach.
“I missed competitive golf and realized I still had some passion for it, so I reached out to Mitch [men’s head coach] after I heard he needed help,” Domeck said.
Since joining the team, Domeck has helped them on and off the course. While he believes that everyone on the team has the physical ability to hit the golf ball, the mental aspect is where the true work needs to happen.
“The most important thing Wes has taught me is how analytical I have to be when approaching a shot,” said Jacob Smissen, a current senior on the team.
While it is controversial if the game of golf is as physically taxing as hitting a baseball or playing football, it is known that the sport takes an extreme toll on a player mentally. A golfer is forced to stay focused, confident in their swing and analyze each shot for up to six hours in any round.
Because of the countless perspectives a player could have for a shot or round, each golf coach has a different approach to the mental part of the game. Domeck is no different.
A tactic Domeck stresses to his players is how important it is to mentally think through a golf course. Preparing yourself for each shot you hit, knowing exactly where you want to hit it, and what you need to do to make the shot happen are crucial to a good round.
While Domeck has contributed a great deal to the team, the coach has learned a fair amount from his players as well.
“This job has taught me many things; being patient, as well as learning how to be a clearer communicator, I have learned to simplify information and not complicate it,” Domeck said.
While the team’s performance in some of the past few seasons have not been up to their standards, the Wildcats have quickly made their way to the top of the ranks in the conference as of late.
Even though the players on the team were forced to make significant strides, the coaching aspect was equally as important, and Domeck had a perspective unlike other coaches. For both the men’s and women’s golf program, neither of the head coaches have experience playing golf in college.
However, Domeck was recruited to play at West Point and has been able to bring his past experiences into play when coaching the team,
Domeck started the game of golf early, with a home video at his first birthday party showing him swinging a golf club around the house, and was in his first junior golf league by the age of 6.
“Wes is something I would call a historian of the game,” said Brandon Towers, a childhood friend. Towers and Domeck played on the same golf team as kids, and were constantly competing against each other in every way imaginable. The pair grew up together in Aurora, Ohio, and were able to stay in touch throughout college, while still being almost 3,000 miles away from each other.
Whether it is teaching a player strategies on the course, or learning from them off of it, Domeck has made a large impact in the short time he has been here. Domeck moved to McMinnville, Ore. in the spring of 2020 with his wife, Haley Domeck. Haley is the women’s volleyball coach at Linfield and has been for the past four years.
The Domecks met in Washington, when Wes was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the Army, just south of Tacoma, Wash. Wes spent six years serving all over the United States, from the spring of 2014 to the late spring of 2020. The base in Washington completed Domeck’s mandatory years of service required after graduating from West Point.
While most people take a few years after high school to decide their career aspirations and future goals, Domeck knew his path at the age of 12. Domeck was recruited for golf at West Point and headed straight to New York after he graduated high school.
As expected, being accepted into West Point is not an easy feat to achieve. A nomination from a U.S. Senator, a member of Congress, the President of the U.S. or a current member of the Army are a few options for the nomination required for any hopeful student.
Multiple interviews are required, as well as entrance exams, physical fitness tests and questions about the interviewees and their plans for the future.
With only 1,500 students admitted out of the 15,000 that apply each year, impressive scores can only get a hopeful student so far. However, Domeck was intent on his plans in attending the school.
“Anytime someone asks me why I went to West Point, I use the same quote that I did in my interviews: Every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that’s the legacy of the members of our military,” Domeck said. “And that was the kind of legacy I wanted to leave.”
Domeck has done just that, helping the team improve and climb up the leaderboard each season. As the upcoming spring season approaches, the men’s golf team prepares, hoping to implement the strategies and tactics that Domeck teaches them each day.

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About the Contributor
Tori Schuller, News Editor
Tori is a junior political science and journalism double major. She is from Whidbey Island, Washington, and is on the golf team here at Linfield. In her free time, she loves to hike, paddle board, and go to concerts. She hopes to improve her journalism and writing skills from this experience on the Linfield Review. After graduating, she hopes to travel the world and spread the stories of every person she meets.

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