It runs in the family

Bryce Derouin

When most kids played with toy cars or trucks, Nick Gunthorpe was playing golf.

That’s because ever since he could walk, Gunthorpe has been swinging a set of plastic golf clubs given to him by his family. From there, golf has been an integral part of Gunthorpe’s life.

Nick’s father, Jerry, played collegiate golf himself at Lansing Community College and is active in competing in the amateur tournaments around Michigan. Jerry has been instrumental in the development of Nick’s game throughout his life, including being the head coach of Nick’s golf team at Ovid Elsie High School.

“I haven’t really had a bunch of lessons from other people besides my dad,” Gunthorpe said. “He taught me everything I know about the game. From the way I swing, to how to control my emotions and the mental aspects of the game. Growing up, me and my brother were competing and we both learned from my dad.”

Nick’s brother Nathan Gunthorpe played golf at Michigan State University.

In high school, Gunthorpe garnered first team All-State honors in 2008, and was named to the All-Conference team three times, as well as being most valuable player three times.

After his senior year at high school, he decided to attend GVSU, citing that GVSU had the whole package that he was looking for and he took a liking to the GVSU golf facilities.

GVSU had a good academic record, and the golf team established a pretty good program in the past and won a lot of conference championships,” Gunthorpe said. “I know the sports here are really strong and there’s a strong support group for all of it. With the golf course being ran by the university, but having a practice facility across the road, I knew I could improve my game and continue my career of golf.”

In the 2009-10 season, Gunthorpe recorded five top 10 finished and seven top 15 finishes during the year. He followed up that year with four top 10 finishes and eight top 20 finishes in 2010-11. He was also named to the All-GLIAC First Team in the same year, and won the GLIAC Preview with a 3-under-par 69. Gunthorpe just recently finished in second place at the GLIAC Championship with a 3-over-par 219.

GVSU head coach Don Underwood said he has been impressed with the senior golfer. According to Underwood, Gunthorpe is not just good a one specific thing, but instead excels at multiple facets of the game.

“Overall he’s just good at a lot of things,” he said. “He’s a very good ball striker, wedge player and putter. He works hard and prepares, but he has talent in a lot of areas and is very consistent.”

What makes Gunthorpe such a successful member of the golf team is the consistency he brings for GVSU at every tournament. His teammates are always confident that Gunthorpe will post a low score.

“The consistency is his most impressive quality,” said sophomore Jack Rider. “That’s really what the game of golf breaks down to. Being able to rely on him to shoot scores at par most of the time, is a huge benefit for the team. Overall, it’s a huge importance to the team that he’s as consistent as he is and the team really benefits from that.”

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