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Tony Karsten: tough and lucky
By Kat Meyer
Tony Karsten (Zeeland, Mich.)

If you met senior golfer Tony Karsten, you might be surprised to learn his major. Karsten graduates this spring and hopes to own his own computer consulting or software development firm.

"To do that, you can't be the typical computer science person, and I don't think I am in that area," Karsten said, whose business plans would require going into companies months at a time to help them manage their systems. "I've always been really social, and you usually don't associate athletics and computer science-types."

In addition, Coach Jim Timmer describes Karsten as mentally tough. "He can laugh at himself and keeps things in perspective," said Timmer. "He's someone I can count on to always have a good score. He is always on time (except for once) and kept us on our toes this year as captain of the team."

He's also pretty lucky.

Karsten can now claim bragging rights to two hole-in-ones; his latest, this fall in a tournament at Spring Arbor. The lucky hole was number 16 on a 36-hole continuous tournament. "We walked something like nine miles, so it was an interesting day. Number 16 was a 177-yard par three," said Karsten. "I really didn't think it went in at first, but then the guy next to me started going nuts.

"I've had two so far but I can't say it's skill—I'm pretty lucky," he added.

Karsten said he has enjoyed his four years on Calvin's golf team and has no regrets even though the season is very intense. "This year I finally figured out to take a light schedule in the fall," he said. "It makes it hard and you start out in the hole, but it's worth it."

Although he is ready to be done with school for awhile, being part of the team is something Karsten will miss. "I'm ready to be done with the school aspect of it," he said, "but the golf and sport and social aspects of it—I could play for years," he said. "We get into some unbelievable conversations on the way to and from tournaments"

His one piece of advice for anyone interested in the men's golf team: "If you think you can, try out. It's a blast. The guys are always fun; the coach is great."

Timmer said one of the joys of coaching is to see golfers like Karsten grow up as people.

"Tony's going to be successful where ever he goes," Timmer said. "He has great integrity, a strong work ethic and above all has the ability to laugh at himself. Whatever the future holds for him, he will be successful."