Mike Barrett, LSSULakers.com
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Gavin MacIver and the Lake Superior State men's golf team use the LSSU Golf Training Facility during the winter months to prepare for the spring season.
MacIver, the senior captain of the men's golf team, has taken advantage of the LSSU Golf Training Facility, an indoor facility that provides Lake Superior State's golfers with the same game improvement and game enhancement tools that touring professionals have at their disposal.
A native of Whitby, Ontario, MacIver has taken advantage of the indoor training facility to improve his golf game throughout his four years as a student-athlete at Lake Superior State.
"The LSSU Golf Training Facility is huge for us to have during the winter months," said MacIver. "I normally spend 6-10 hours a week in the hitting facility. Spring break is also a huge help getting prepared for the spring as we get outside on the course again."
The 2018-19 season is the second in a row that MacIver has been a team captain for head coach Andrew McKenney. For McKenney, the decision to designate MacIver as the captain was an easy one.
"He brings steady leadership with a lot of experience on the golf course," said the third-year head coach. "I selected him for the role after the previous captain, Joe Erickson graduated in 2017. Gavin was the perfect choice, with all of the energy and positivity, as well as the talent that he brings to the team. So far, Gavin has stepped into the role extremely well – passing his knowledge and experience on to our younger athletes."
In coming to Lake Superior State, MacIver credits his parents and former men's golf coach Brent Pusch, who is currently an assistant professor of kinesiology at Lake Superior State, in helping him make the decision.
"I chose Lake State because of the coach at the time. Brent Pusch was a huge motivator in helping me join this program. My parents and I also liked the small school atmosphere."
MacIver is a kinesiology major with a focus on sports management. With sports being a large part of his life, he chose kinesiology because he wanted to study something he knew he could see himself enjoying a career in.
Kinesiology, the study of human body movement, includes orthopedics, strengthening and conditioning, exercise and athletics. As a topic of study at Lake Superior State, kinesiology students may choose a concentration in sports management, human performance or rehabilitation science. There is also an option to focus on any two concentrations.
Concerning his degree program, MacIver finds "the interactive discussions we have amongst the majority of our classes" to be one of the more enjoyable facets of the program.
"I enjoy the classes where you feel like it is more of a conversation with the class and the professor, rather than them just talking to you. My major definitely has some challenging anatomy courses. However, even though it is difficult, I enjoy taking the challenge of classes like anatomy and learning those subjects."
"I like the kinesiology program because it is very hands-on," added MacIver. "In the majority of the classes in the major, we have labs throughout the year. I enjoy these because it allows for us to gain practical experience. I am also a big fan of the professors we have in our major. They make the classes more interesting."
In addition to his major, MacIver is also pursuing a minor in business. For him, the allure is the practicality of the material.
"What I enjoy about business is that I learn a lot of practical knowledge that I can use in everyday life," he said. "I find myself looking at things differently in terms of how I spend my money. I have learned more about the value of money."
Outside of the classroom, MacIver also got practical work experience working in athletic communications during his senior year. In his role, MacIver assisted with keeping statistics at basketball and hockey games.
"I enjoyed helping keep track of stats for the hockey and basketball games," MacIver said. "I learned how much really goes on behind the scenes during Lake State athletic events. There is a lot that goes into the communications efforts to make sure people are able to stay updated on the games and teams."
Unlike most college athletes, who begin playing their particular sport(s) at an early age, MacIver did not begin golfing until he was in secondary school.
"I did not start playing golf seriously until about 10th grade. I was always into baseball and hockey. However, I made the decision to focus on golf."
"I picked up golf from my father," MacIver said. "He was an avid golfer and he always brought me along with him."
Now in his fourth season with the Lakers, MacIver has played many enjoyable and challenging courses. For him, the challenging courses are the enjoyable ones.
"Greywalls (Marquette Golf Club)in Marquette, Michigan is a magnificent golf course that we play," remarked MacIver. "It is a course that I definitely want to try to find a way to play again after college. It is an incredibly demanding course and a lot of fun."
Spending time on the road, MacIver says it is a challenging, yet rewarding experience, to balance school and golf.
"It is not easy to stay on top of everything, but it is something I have learned how to do as I have gotten older," he said. "The biggest key for me is to always keep my professors in the loop on what is going on with golf. I have also learned how to manage my time on the road. It takes some practice to balance golf and school, but it is worth it to be able to play golf and study kinesiology at Lake Superior State."
MacIver and the men's golf team are now in the middle of their spring season as they compete at the Parkside Spring Invitational on Sunday and Monday. The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships will be held at the Gull Lake View Golf Club in Augusta, Michigan on April 19-21.
MacIver and the Lakers will look to have a strong performance at the GLIAC Championships.
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