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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Freshman Payne Gniewek on the trip to California

This past week in California was an awesome experience for me. We got to play on one of the premiere golf courses in all of California, which was Pasatiempo.

I thought the course presented many different challenges to us that will help us throught the spring. As for myself, I felt that I played very well and I was happy to finally get in the lineup and contribute to this team. I am very excited about our hard-work during the off-season and I am looking forward to some great results! I also want to give a big congrats to Jacko for his victory!

Payne Gniewek

Junior Jack Newman speaks about the spring season

Jack Newman This spring has been a learning experience for everyone of the guys on the team. Over spring break, and our first two tournaments of the spring we have learned what it will take to succeed. We struggled in our first tournament back, but we came out strong in our second tournament. We did not finish as well as would have liked but that will come once we have more rounds under our belts. Winning our second tournament individually was a bitter sweet moment, because I wanted to get our team back on track with a win. Keep grinding on our games, and we will take them to another level!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sophomore Jack Newman on his win at the Western Intercollegiate

Last week's golf tournament in Santa Cruz, California had a bitter sweet ending. We came in second place as a team, one shot off the lead. As an individual I won by two strokes. The course was a shot makers' course, which I really enjoy. After the first two rounds I was in second by one, and I came into the last day not nervous at all. Then once it got down to the back nine my nerves were starting to be tested. And yes, it did get a little "Yippy" off the tee, but I cured that coming down the stretch.

Coach Puryear was joking around earlier in the week that he wanted to change the requirements for your picture to be put up on the wall in our practice complex. He wanted to change it from one win, to a requirement of multiple wins. So I did not want to be left out of that category, if it were ever to change. On a more important note, the team is improving every week and I can't wait to see what happens in the near future. Good work to "Hot Hot Baby Pterodactyl" aka Payne Gniewek for his first top ten.

Jack Newman

Senior Ryan Brehm on the spring up to this point

Ryan Brehm This spring has been comprised of great venues. This was the first time that I set foot in the state of California, it might be my new favorite state. I can't believe the cost of living. Anyway, Pasatiempo was a difficult test of golf. I thought that the greens were tremendous and provided a great challenge, as is typical of any Mackenzie course. We might have to prepare for a bit of a different style of golf as we start to compete more in the midwest. We probably won't have perfect conditions every week anymore and that is to our benefit. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life and I am excited to work on my game for the upcoming mid-spring and post-season competition.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Junior Steve Cuzzort on his forecast for the spring and the benefits of the MSU schedule

Steve Cuzzort I think the spring season is really going to prove to us just how good we are. In my mind the team we have this year is the strongest I've ever been a part of. With all of our hard work and dedication in the off-season, winning a Big Ten Championship should be one of our goals but also competing to win a NCAA Championship. Just being there last year was a great accomplishment, but you have to learn from your experiences and I think we have built a caliber of team that has the ability to win. The sky is the limit for Michigan State Golf.

Competing all over the country is a great way to test your game on different courses and different grasses. I know most of us on the team want to play professionally, and I think what were doing now by traveling so much definitely will help us in the long run. I know for me it helps by giving me the chances to compete nationally and be the best player I can be. Competing against the best in the country has made me a better player over the years. I get to play with the best players in the country and learn from them, and sometimes beat them. My motto has always been "if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best". Our schedule at Michigan State has allowed us to compete against the best on a weekly basis. It tests our games and also our minds. It's tough traveling every week and grinding like we do, but nobody said it would be easy, but when I wear that "S" on my chest I know it's time for business.
Go State!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sophomore Jack Newman on the weekend in Florida

This weekend down in Port St. Lucie was awesome! We got to go down there and practiced all day Saturday and played on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we started on the range and then went to short game; that was key for me because I needed to work on all the facets of my game. The facilities were the best I have ever seen: at least five different types of sands to work out of, wedge range with multiple options for shots, huge putting greens, and the range was in great shape. The PGA Village gave us a great experience and our play this past weekend has set the bar for the rest of the spring. We came out grinding. We shot 1 over as a team, which isn't bad for our first competition of the spring. The rust came off and now we will have a chance to get ready for the EZ Go Schenkel in a couple weeks. I am really excited about our spring break trip to Houston. We are going to be there for nine days. It should be a lot of fun. I am excited for what is to come this spring season!
Jack Newman

Senior Ryan Brehm reflects on the past weekend

Ryan Brehm The weekend in Port St. Lucie was a great evaluation of what we have been doing this winter. As evident, our performance was indicative of our preparation. Even though we have been preparing in a colder climate, we have been doing some of the necessary things for success in the off-season and pre-season. Also, as promising as this week was, the competition illuminated some of my weaknesses and some of the things that I need to improve on during the coming week in Houston. I think this proved that all of the work that we have been doing up until this point has been working. Furthermore, the weekend proved that we need to keep this work ethic as we enter the regular season. If and when we do this, we will be successful.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sophomore Jack Newman on the affect of the Michigan weather

Jack Newman Go Green!
The weather in Michigan does not hinder our play. I think for most of us, it makes us hungrier in the spring. Might take a couple rounds under our belt before we are back on track, but it all depends on how bad you want it! If your looking for an excuse for poor play than you can say it is the weather, but in the end the weather does not matter when you are out there competing!
Go White!

Junior Jordan Ensrud on MSU academics

Hi, I am Jordan Ensrud a junior from Anoka, Minnesota! Some say I'm brilliant, others say I am intellectually gifted, I just think I'm a genius! No, with all seriousness getting phenomenal grades in college is all about prioritizing and using your resources. For me education is number one followed by golf as a close second and everything else is a distant third. I would be lying if I took all the credit for my grades. Michigan State has Student Athlete Support Service that is second to none. These people will bend over backwards for you if it leads to your success in the classroom. Jordan Ensrud

Friday, February 15, 2008

Senior Nathan Gunthorpe on the Michigan weather

Nathan Gunthorpe I definitely think the weather in Michigan is an advantage to playing great golf. We get to experience all season's, that prepare us for any type of weather Mother Nature can throw at us. During the summer we enjoy the best weather Michigan golf has to offer. The fall and spring provide many good days along with some bad days that you wish you would have stayed inside. Even though we cannot play outside during the winter is a great time to work on our fitness and strength along with the mechanics of your golf swing. And when there is snow on the ground it is always fun to take a little ski trip up north when we have time. The best aspect of the winter is the mental rest. Golf can grind on you sometimes and during this time of year you can analyze your play of the fall and learn a lot. Overall I think playing golf at Michigan State will prepare me for anything or any weather I will face in the future. Go State!!!

Junior Steve Cuzzort on academics and his decision to attend MSU

The academic programs offered at Michigan State are truly top notch. Michigan State is a nationally recognized university for many of its programs. The Smith Center is probably my second home on campus. Spending time there has really helped my academics, the tutors are extremely helpful. To tell you the truth I don't know where I would be without the Smith Center.

What made Michigan State so appealing to me was probably the atmosphere and the direction the program was heading in. It also didn't hurt that my family has been life-long MSU fans. I grew up playing junior golf against most of the guys on the team, and when I came for my visit I truly felt like I was coming to my new family.

Steve Cuzzort

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Senior Ryan Brehm discuss the local weather, his MSU experiences and his favorite local golf courses

The weather, to nobody's dispute, is a factor in length of the golf season in Michigan. Do I think that it is a hindrance? I think that it is an opportunity to improve on others areas of everyday life. This is a time for us to get our bodies in shape and it also allows us to focus on school, future plans outside of golf, family life, etc. For me, these other aspects of life are important to align because there is a major constraint on time during the season.

My experience here has allowed me to learn as much about a certain subject or topic as I wanted to learn. MSU has provided me with all of the resources necessary to advance my education and they have also pushed me towards excelling in the classroom. I don't pay much attention to the other departments or academic programs, but I value my education at this institution thus far.

I have had the unique opportunity to meet many people from all over the United States and people from across the globe. MSU has given me a new perspective on culture. I had the privilege of living with two international students here at the university. I have developed friendships with both people and have grown to learn more about their culture and history; one of my roommate's was Brazilian and the other was Iraqi. The three of us often complement each other in bringing diversity to our relationship. MSU is a great place to build relationships with people from all walks of life.

Of the numerous places to play golf, some of the prettiest and most challenging courses in Michigan are: Point O' Woods (site of the Western Amateur), Crystal Downs, Arcadia Bluffs, and Oakland Hills. I have to say that my home course, The PohlCat, is probably one of my favorite places to play as well.

Ryan Brehm

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Redshirt junior Grant Tungate on the Spartans' fitness program

Grant Tungate A crucial aspect of our successes needs to be attributed to our fitness program. Since implementing a balance of strength training, yoga, cardio and stretching I have seen direct improvement to my golf swing. It has also been enjoyable to watch everyone's rapid improvements and the transformation of their bodies. Some of guys actually think they are kind of chopped up now. T-Payne and Newman are nice examples. Personally, I am thinking about going out for the football team. Joke. I think everyone would tell you that since the improvements to our fitness routine they have seen not only tremendous improvements in their strength and flexibility but also an improvement in their daily energy level and confidence.

Some of the major improvements in my flexibility need to be attributed to the Yoga we have been doing at the Michigan Athletic Club. Our yoga instructor, Steve McCornack has made a point to push us more and more every week. Not only does our yoga routine target our flexibility but also our strength, where we have seen rapid improvements. Steve has pushed us by increasing the duration of our static holds and I think everyone would agree that they didn't imagine yoga could be this challenging. Overall, our fitness routine has been instrumental to our successes, and I am excited to be part of the awesome improvements our team is making. If there is another team in the country that has as rigorous a fitness routine as we do then I want to meet these kids. It would be hard for me to believe.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Spartans have seen recent press on over the past week. Men's head coach Sam Puryear ("S") and women's sophomore Laura Kueny ("L") were mentioned as part of Lance Ringler's College Golf's ABCs and men's senior Ryan Brehm was Golfweek senior writer Ron Balicki's choice as a player to watch in the spring, during's Spring College Preview [Brehm is mentioned around 5:57 of the video].

Sophomore Andrew Ladwig on his favorite Michigan golf courses

Andrew Ladwig I guess I'm a little prejudiced but I think Michigan's got a great list of golf courses that would hold up to any state. There's no way I can whittle my list down to one but three courses stick out in my mind for different reasons. From a golf course design standpoint, you really can't beat Crystal Downs. It defines "northern Michigan golf" in my mind with the setting next to the unbelievably clear (and aptly named) Crystal Lake. One of only two Alister Mackenzie designs in Michigan, the bunkering, routing in and out of northern Michigan woods, and green structures are classic (and the view on the 18th tee rivals any in the state).

The second course is relatively new and a bit off the beaten path. I've been lucky enough to play many rounds with some good friends at Wuskowhan Players Club in West Olive and from the second I drive in the gates I feel like I'm in my own world. One of the best practice facilities around and, in my opinion, some of the best greens in the state are the norm at Wuskowhan. They treat you like a king around the facility and more often than not one feels like they're the only ones on the course, something golfers don't get very often.

Finally I've got to give the nod to my home course, Egypt Valley Country Club. There's two demanding courses with length and some serious elevation changes that gave me a great place to build my game growing up. Given the choice of one round of golf, I'll take playing the back of the Ridge course with friends on a summer night over anything else.

So there's the short list of courses to play in my home state, trust me when I say that you won't be let down with any of those three if you ever get the chance to play them.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Junior Steve Cuzzort reflects on the Fall

Steve Cuzzort Inverness was a special tournament for me this past fall. I have played there numerous times, and the whole atmosphere there is rich with golf history. The greatest players in the game have won major championships at Inverness. This year I took a new approach when I tee'd it up on the first hole. I went out there with no expectations and told myself to just enjoy playing a great golf course against a great field. This worked well as I went on to a second place showing. My final round was really special and it proved that I have the game to play well anywhere and against anyone. What contributed to my three under 68 were birdies on 10,11,12 and an eagle on 13. Coming down the stretch being in contention, and with my friends and family watching was a great feeling

Obviously one of my favorite moments of the fall season was our second place showing at Inverness. Also getting to know coach Puryear and the new freshman was exciting. It's always fun to see how the team changes from year to year with new faces in the program. I try not to hold too many expectations for myself, but this spring I expect to continue contributing championships to this team. I also expect great things from the team, we have been working really hard on our games and bodies in the offseason. Also I think that this team is so close to one another that we trust each other to do our parts and see what happens from there. My big goal for the spring is obviously to win an NCAA Championship, because the reason I came to Michigan State was to win championships and advance myself as a player and as a person.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

For all of our Spartan Discussion Board readers in the Lansing area, the Michigan State men's and women's golf teams will be featured on the WILX (channel 10) 6 p.m. news. The Lansing NBC affiliate will be speaking with both men's head coach Sam Puryear and women's head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, along with select student-athletes, about the use and impact of their indoor facilities at the Rearick Golf Complex, during the winter months.

Sophomore Jack Newman on the highlight of his Fall

Jack Newman Hello once again to the Jack Newman blog. My favorite part of the season so far is seeing our team win, while we played nine different guys throughout the fall! Most teams probably could not say that. But nothing will ever compare to the team's experience with Grant Tungate last year at the Big Ten/Pac Ten Tournament. We were in the practice round, and there was a deer that was slumped over, and Grant says, "Is that a Kangaroo? I think it is!" Ladies and gentlemen, he was dead serious with that comment. Grant Tungate will never live that down. Haha. (Let the State golf team know the next time you see a wild Kangaroo in the United States!) The expectations....Rhino aka Ryan Brehm has played just "ok" this fall, and I would expect Rhino to keep improving and playing better. In the spring, I think we have a LEGIT chance to compete for the "SHIP" ... an NCAA championSHIP.

Junior Randy Hutchison on his thoughts coming down the stretch at the Big Ten/Pac 10 Challenge

GO GREEN. Besides building a sand castle on the eighteenth hole, I thought I handled myself very well coming down the stretch at Chambers Bay. I was able to make a few good par saves on 14, 15 and 16 but the 17th and 18th holes got the best of me. It was a very good learning experience for me to finish like that. They say you only learn from your mistakes, hopefully I can turn it around from the finish I had at Chambers Bay and have a great spring season. GO WHITE! Randy Hutchison

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Before we get to the new student-athlete entries, we would like to showcase the new van which the Michigan State men's and women's golf programs recently purchased. The van will be used for the two teams for local team travel and for tournaments in which they may drive to. For photos of the new van, click here.

Senior Nathan Gunthorpe on his final semester wearing Green and White

Payne Gniewek Heading into the spring semester, I am very excited and anxious to get out of the cold weather and start playing golf. I feel that the winter workouts and practice has better prepared me to play good golf. I feel that I am more than ready to play and am looking forward to competing in the spring. With it being my last season I still feel that our team has a chance to win every tournament that we compete in. I know if I play my game that in the end I can put up consistent numbers that will help my team succeed. I look forward to the great schedule we have in place for the spring and know we are going to represent Michigan State very well. We're going to make headlines, so you all should look out. Go State!!

Senior Brandon Cigna on his favorite moment of the Fall

The victory at Notre Dame this year was definitely my favorite moment of the Fall. I hadn't had the opportunity to get in the lineup in awhile, so breaking through and helping our team to a 14 shot victory showed me that my hard work was paying off. I believe this victory was very beneficial because it showed the country how dominant our team can be, but more importantly, it put a stamp on all our hard work. I believe our team has a great deal of confidence on and off the golf course, and if we continue to work hard at it, the sky's the limit in terms of what we can accomplish. I am really looking forward to the spring season, and being my last as a Spartan golfer, I don't plan on leaving anything out there. Brandon Cigna

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sophomore Jack Newman on the importance of MSU's off the course training

My name is Jack Newman and I am a sophomore, welcome to the treat of a blog! I think our workout regimen here at Michigan State is one of the best in the country. The cardio days have had a significant impact on my endurance on the our 36 hole days. As for our lifting, Mike Vorkapich is hilarious as well as motivating! He pushes us to our limits every time we step into his facility. Most people would say that they are getting "Jacked", "Ripped" or even "Tank Diesel". I would have to say that I am getting "Swollen", while staying very flexible.... haha GO WHITE!
Jack Newman

Freshman Payne Gniewek what he has learned since arriving at MSU

Payne Gniewek One of the largest golf lessons I have learned here at Michigan State is hard work and efficiency. Coach Puryear and Coach Lubahn really stress efficiency in everything we do and I believe it has made me not only a better golfer, but a better person.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Michigan State men's golf program has decided to launch its own blog which will allow fans and supporters of the Spartan program to hear about the season through the words of the student-athletes.

Readers are encouraged to send questions to the team and they will do their best to answer them in an appropriate and timely manner. All questions can be sent to Michigan State head men's golf coach Sam Puryear at

Now onto the first two Spartan entries...

Senior Ryan Brehm on the fall season and the current preparation for the spring

The fall season may have consisted of some of the most patient and fun golf, on the scale of an entire season, that I have played in my career. Not only did I learn valuable lessons to apply to the spring season, but I also developed skills to apply to my golf game for the rest of my life. The challenge for me in the spring will be trying to remember the things that I did well in the fall and to improve upon some of the things that inhibited my performance.

My favorite moments of the fall season took place in the van. I don't think that I ever remember laughing harder than I did in Notre Dame on the way home. I look forward to working hard on the small steps in accumulating something special toward the end of the season.

Ryan Brehm

Freshman Graham Baillargeon on his first semester at Michigan State

Graham Baillargeon My first semester of collegiate golf taught me a lot about myself and my golf game. It was the most I have learned on the golf course before and having great teammates who helped push me has made positive improvements in my game. I was able to see the team succeed on many occasions and best of all took part in the first victory of the season. Most of all, I learned a lot about what I have to do to be a great collegiate player and eventually a professional.

My favorite moment of the fall season was winning at Notre Dame after a couple poor finishes the entire team played well and we started to get an idea of how good we really are. In the spring I expect to practice as hard as I can and look to improve the basic skills of controlling my ball flight, trajectory and spin combined with a solid short game. If I am able to do that I think the season will be a great success. As for the team, I believe that our continued hard work throughout the off-season is going to prepare us very well for the spring and everything is throws at us.

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