GVSU men's golfer Alex Scott easing into team leadership role
It’s been four years since the Grand Valley State men’s golf team welcomed its new head coach Gary Bissell. With four years of rebuilding to try to find the right recruits for the ideal five-man rotation, the GVSU team has finally molded itself into one of the best teams in Michigan.
For the team members, they believe the best time to win is right now.
Out of the 11-man roster, five players are in the junior grade or above. Among them is one of the team's leaders, junior Alex Scott. Bissell has turned to Scott and Domenic Mancinelli as the generals of the team both on and off the course.
“They’re both great leaders by example,” Bissell said. “Both are the hardest-working players on the team, and you want your two best players to be the hardest workers because it helps set the tone for the rest of the group.”
Scott is entering his third year as a member of the GVSU men's golf team. As a sophomore last season, Scott was named to the All-Midwest Region Team and the All-GLIAC First Team, and he led his team with 23 total rounds played.
According to Bissell, Scott's work ethic and drive earned him a spot as one of the top five players on the team who gets to travel for tournaments. There's the classic saying that "practice makes perfect," and Scott has put in the extra work on his own, either at Meadows Golf Course or at the gym.
“On a typical week, I’ll practice six or seven hours before leaving for a tournament on Thursdays,” Scott said. “I also practice a lot by myself. I force myself to go to the gym three days a week to keep my body in the best shape possible.”
Coming from Traverse City West High School, Scott has honed his game over the years he has spent at GVSU, but he believes his greatest improvement is his matured mentality.
“I used to raise my game based on the people around me," Scott said. "I competed with a lot of good golfers, and I wanted to challenge them.”
Coming into his junior year, Scott knew he had to set the standards for himself.
“I try to stay ahead of the curve,” he said. “I challenge myself a lot more now.”
That mindset is something Bissell thinks can be beneficial for the years to come. When Bissell first arrived as head coach, he did not have the personnel to compete at the highest level to win championships. However, Bissell isn’t worried about titles or records.
“We take it day by day,” he said. “The goal is to become better every week and every month. We don’t really set labels on anything.”
GVSU started its season off at Saginaw Valley State's Al Watrous Invitational Sunday, Sept. 10, taking first place with a strong performance from junior Mitchell White, who took home first place in the individual category. Scott tied for ninth overall, shooting a 143 stroke count over the two days to finish (-1).
GVSU also took second place behind Wayne State the following week, this time at the GLIAC Fall Invitational in South Haven, Michigan.
Although Bissell is not putting any expectations on his team, he said this year might be his best one so far.
“Our goal is to become the best team in Michigan,” Bissell said. “We can compete with the best schools around here, including University of Michigan or Michigan State.”
The GVSU team will be looking to show their full potential Sunday, Sept. 24, at the Findlay Invitational in Ohio.