Seth Almquist is teeing off for Hope College for the final time this week at the NCAA Division III Championships in Kentucky.
Shortly after Almquist’s final round on the course, the recent graduate and Minneapolis, Minnesota, native, will travel to Africa to learn about global missions from Poetice International.
Almquist majored in environmental geochemistry at Hope and played on the Flying Dutchmen’s 2022 MIAA regular-season and 2023 MIAA Tournament championship team.
He shared how his life was transformed as a student-athlete at Hope and how he aims to keep his Christian faith at the center of everything he does, including the national stage as a golfer.
The 72-hole, four-day NCAA Championships begin on Tuesday, May 16, at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., outside of Lexington. There is a cut after 36 holes.
1. What are your post-graduation plans?
Almquist: Starting on May 20, I will participate in the “Intensive Training Program” hosted by Poetice International in Choma, Zambia. This is a six-week program designed to help grow in faith and community in preparation for future work in global missions. After that trip, I plan to spend some time with my family back in Minnesota, then find a job. I’m hoping to work at the intersection between global drinking water access and Christian mission but am uncertain at what exact role I’m being called to in that field.
2. What drew you to majoring in environmental geochemistry?
Almquist: I’ve always loved spending time in nature in my free time and have been very interested in science academically. As I looked for a major that piqued these interests, chemistry suited the scientific side, but it wasn’t quite right. Thankfully, Hope has a composite major where I could work with the geology and chemistry departments to create one major across both disciplines. I love how applicable the class material is to real-world problems like water and air pollution. I love I get to learn about these things from a chemistry perspective, which is super interesting to me.
3. What has it meant to be able for you to pursue your interests at Hope in the classroom as well as on the golf course?
Almquist: Hope has been such a great place for me both academically and athletically. The ability to be a full-time student, do research on campus, and then also compete on the team has made my time here so special. A senior on the team my freshman year saw golf as his reward for working hard in the classroom, and I’ve adopted that for myself. I get to go to practice and forget about schoolwork for a few hours. It has created a great balance in my life over my four years. I’m so grateful to have the opportunities Hope has provided me.
4. What was the game of golf taught you beyond the course?
Almquist: Every golf ball I play with has “AO1” written on it, which stands for “Audience of One”. I do this as a reminder that I’m playing golf at Hope because God has gifted me with the skill set to do so. No matter how well or poorly I’m playing and how many people are there watching, God’s opinion is all that matters, and I am honoring him by doing what I love. I’ve taken this viewpoint outside of golf into my everyday life. I am trying to be authentic to who I am, knowing that God is proud of me, and I don’t need to change based on what others think.
5. What does it mean to have to have the opportunity to compete at nationals with your teammates?
Almquist: I’m beyond excited. To cap off my senior year with a trip to nationals with these guys is an amazing way to finish my collegiate career. I’m really looking forward to taking it all in and enjoying the moment while hopefully playing well in the process. We set the goal at the beginning of the fall season to make the cut at nationals. I’m hopeful that I can contribute and help the team achieve that goal.