Hot Seat: Ben Kuiper
Jess Koster sat down with senior golfer Ben Kuiper. Ben was last year’s MIAA Most Valuable Golfer. This is Hot Seat:
Koster: How old are you?
Where are you from?
How many siblings do you have?
Two siblings. One older brother who played golf here for four years, and a younger brother at Grand Rapids Christian.
What is your major?
What brought you to Calvin?
My whole family kinda went to Calvin and I wanted to play golf so. It’s a good school and I’m able to play golf.
What first got you interested in golf?
I started pretty young. My dad and my grandpa got me playing at an early age, like when I was around 4 or 5 or something like that.
What is the best part about playing golf?
The best part… I think it’s just relaxing. A round takes four or five hours so you’re just kinda out there by yourself, get your mind off everything else.
What is your best golf memory?
There’s a lot of them. I think when we won the MIAA Championship in 2010 was probably the best.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to practice a lot. Fair amount of studying. Go to the beach. You know, whatever.
What are your interests besides golf?
I like basically all other sports. Go to the beach. Hang out with friends.
What’s your favorite color?
I might have to say country. Country and rap.
Dumb and Dumber.
Favorite sports team?
Anything Michigan. Michigan football. Michigan basketball.
What do you hope to do when you grow up?
I’m applying to a bunch of grad schools right now so hopefully I’ll be going to grad school for biochemistry and get a PhD. Maybe work in the medical field or something like that.
How do you think you guys will do this spring in the MIAA and the NCAA?
Well I can’t say that I think we’ll do bad. I think we’re in a good spot. We have a lot of talent. We have two rounds on our home course. I don’t want to guarantee a win but I think we’ll do well.
What were some of your greatest golf accomplishments before coming Calvin?
I made top ten in state in high school my senior year of high school. I wasn’t expected to do that really.
How hard was it to adjust to college golf coming out of high school?
It was different. I think in high school, if you play number one or number two your whole career, you think you’re pretty good. But then you come out to college golf, even at the DIII level and then everybody is in the same boat as you are.
Who helped you improve your game while at Calvin?
Coach did a lot of things for me mentally and course management like what shot to putt when. I also take lessons from a guy out in Holland who helped me with my swing a lot.
What advice do you have for younger golfers?
I got advice from a guy a couple of years ago who said, “You can basically just be as good as you want to be.” So however good you want to be, you have to put in the work to get there.
If you had to pick one person, historical or living, to have lunch with, who would it be?
That’s a good question. I might say Arnold Palmer.
Dogs or cats?
What is the best Calvin dorm?
Well I was in Beets, so I’m just gonna say Beets.
What is one thing you cannot survive without?
I’ll say my clubs.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which of your teammates would you eat first?
Haha Dave Sarkipato.
Commons or Knollcrest?
What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Not a lot. Probably some milk. Maybe some carrots. Bread, lunch meat.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, real or fiction, living or dead, famous or not, who would it be?
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play you?
I don’t know if they would. It would be pretty boring. I guess I’ll just leave it at that.
What is the best pizza topping?
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
What is your pre-round ritual?
First, I’ll hit a couple balls. Just kinda go through my bag a little bit, then I’ll hit a couple chips, and then hit a few putts and then go.