By Zane Silk
Evan Bunis ’18 has been standing out on the golf course since high school for his choice to wear a bucket hat when he plays. This year, he has also been standing out for his outstanding performance. When he played most recently at the Augustana College Invitational tournament in Illnois, Bunis had a two-day score of 152, or 12-over-par. That score landed him tied for nineteenth place amongst a field of 111 golfers.
Inspired by his father, Bunis has been playing since he was a young child.
“My dad played a lot, and you know, when he would play he just started taking me out there with him, but I guess I started playing a lot when I was nine,” Bunis said. “I just always liked practicing, seeing how much I could improve. It’s a sport where you can [go] out and spend a lot of hours out in the sun and relax and have fun.”
By high school, Bunis was playing competitively and it was in his senior year that he decided to break away from the crowd of baseball cap-wearing golfers by donning a bucket hat.
“I was just tired of wearing baseball hats like everyone else, and I wanted to stand apart, and it feels kind of cool to have a unique look when you go out on the golf course, especially if you can do well in that tournament,” Bunis said. “People have worn bucket hats for golf, but no one really does it in college tournaments, and no one really does it in Iowa because its super windy and it blows off your head but I just don’t care.”
When he’s playing during the summer, Bunis trades in his bucket hat for an even more unique type of headwear: a straw hat. He says that the straw hat is mostly to help keep him from getting burnt or overheated, but that as a bonus he does occasionally get compliments for his fashionable choice.
Grinnell College’s Men’s Golf Team competes together, and in five out of six tournaments they have attended this year Bunis had the lowest score on the team. Most notably, he placed 2 out of 10 players at the Prima CC Dual Meet and tied for 13 out of 100 players Wartburg College Men’s Spring Invite.
“More so than other years, I’ve been practicing a lot harder, and sort of know how to practice a lot more. I’ve been putting in the time,” Bunis said. “One thing I worked on a lot over the summer was my putting, and through that I’ve seen my scores drop a fair amount.”
According to Bunis, golf is the type of sport where practice matters much more than innate talent, a quality he enjoys. “I like seeing how much work I can put in and how much I can improve. Sometimes results from tournaments can be disappointing, but if you know you’re improving, it’s worth it”
With the school year wrapping up, Bunis is looking forward to the conference tournament in May, but he does not plan to stop once school lets out.
“I would say the goal for this year is to win the conference championship,” Bunis said. “After Grinnell, I have a pretty good schedule of tournaments lined-up this summer, some qualifiers for national tournaments. When I leave Grinnell, it doesn’t really stop.”