GVSU’s Nannetti poised for breakthrough season

GVL / Kasey Garvelink - Tyler Polulak lines up his ball ot the hole during practice on Mar. 29, 2016 in Allendale.

Kasey Garvelink

GVL / Kasey Garvelink – Tyler Polulak lines up his ball ot the hole during practice on Mar. 29, 2016 in Allendale.

Brendan McMahon

Redshirt junior Alex Nannetti has been a key part of the Grand Valley State men’s golf team’s success early in the 2016 spring season, including an impressive fourth-place individual finish in the GLIAC South Invitational from March 25-26. Nannetti’s role has been limited in his first few years as a Laker, but will this spring be his breakout season?

Nannetti has come a long way from his home in Wisconsin, and took a strange route, as he explains it. Nannetti did not start golfing competitively until high school, and did not peak as a golfer until well into his junior year. As a result, he was not heavily recruited out of high school.

It was not a difficult decision for Nannetti to pick GVSU. He visited and discovered the campus; academics and golf tradition made GVSU a perfect fit for him.

Getting here was the easy part for Nannetti, who struggled early in his collegiate golfing career. Nannetti redshirted his first year, and saw no tournament action his redshirt freshman season.

“I was a late bloomer as far as competitive golf goes,” Nannetti said. “It took me an extra couple years to learn how to become a true college golfer.”

During his first couple of years, Nannetti dedicated himself more to practice and changed his previous mindset.

Nannetti began to contribute as a redshirt sophomore, competing in six tournaments and averaging a 77.0 in 13 rounds. He has produced much of the same numbers early this spring season as a redshirt junior, playing six rounds and averaging a 76.5.

During the young spring season, Nannetti has scored in both tournaments for the Lakers. In four rounds, he is averaging a 75.5 and also has recorded a top-five finish. Nannetti contributes his success this season to practice and focus.

“I’ve been hitting the ball harder than I ever have,” Nannetti said. “I’ve stayed in the present and keep my focus shot by shot.”

Head coach Gary Bissell believes it is tremendously important to the Lakers’ success this season that Nannetti continues to golf at this level. As an upperclassman on a particularly young golf team, Nannetti has emerged as a leader both on and off the golf course. Nannetti takes pride in being a role model for younger golfers.

“As good as the golfer (Nannetti) is, he’s twice the person,” Bissell said.

Bissell respects Nannetti’s work ethic and character among all of his qualities. The team can count on Nannetti to lead by example all season. Nannetti works hard to improve not only on the golf course, but also in the classroom, as he is an honor student with nearly a 4.0 grade point average.

“I’ve learn as much from Alex as he learns from me,” Bissell said.

With a tremendous work ethic and positive attitude, Nannetti has worked and competed hard to improve his golf game so he cannot only contribute to the Lakers’ success, but also play a major role in it.

“This can be a season where I can really help our golf team,” Nannetti said. “I’m swinging better than I ever have and mentally I’m in a good state.”