Student-athlete profile: Knute Gailor '13
Knute Gailor '13 (North Granby, Conn./Granby Memorial HS) is in the midst of his fourth and final season with the men's golf program. Knute earned a spot on the NESCAC fall all-academic team in 2010 and 2012. He and the rest of the team begin the spring season with the Sunshine Classic in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on March 21 and 22. Hamilton is one of four teams aiming for a conference title at the 2013 NESCAC Championship, which will be hosted by Trinity College on April 27 and 28.
Q: Tell us a little bit about where you grew up.
A: I grew up in Granby, Connecticut, which is a small town that's a lot like Clinton but without a college. It's a beautiful place and, thankfully, it's close to some good golf courses.
Q: How did you get interested in golf?
A: My dad gave me a set of clubs and took me out for nine holes for my fifth birthday. Standing on one of the tee boxes, we watched a kid in front of us (who wasn't that much older than me at the time) get a hole in one. I'm still trying to get one myself, and have loved the game for as long as I've played.
Q: Did you play any other sports before you came to Hamilton?
A: I played baseball and basketball before settling on golf.
Q: What attracted you to Hamilton College and the men’s golf program?
A: I knew after visiting Hamilton on Accepted Students Day that I wanted to come to the Hill. Everyone I met walking around campus was great, and playing a couple holes on the campus course sealed the deal. None of the other schools I visited measured up. That being said, I didn't honestly know a whole lot about Hamilton golf. I knew I wanted to play, though, and was able to walk on after a few good rounds in tryouts.
Q: What has been your favorite Hamilton golf highlight from all of your seasons?
A: That’s a tough question. It has to be a tournament we played at SUNY Oswego my sophomore year. We all had good first rounds and were able to close on Sunday for a 20-something stroke win against strong competition. It was fun watching my friend Greg Scott ’14 shoot 69 on Sunday, and I was able to play my last 15 holes at 2-under par after a rough (ok, downright awful), 6-over start through three holes.
Q: This spring, the team plays for the NESCAC championship for the third time in your four years here. How does everyone feel going into the season and the championship?
A: The team is excited about our spring season and optimistic about the championship. We know we have the talent to hang with any NESCAC team, but realize that we will need focus, practice and confidence to beat out strong opponents like Trinity College and Williams College for the title.
Q: You have made the NESCAC fall all-academic team twice while competing. Do you have any advice about how to excel both on the course and in the classroom?
A: Although I don't think I'm qualified to offer any advice, there are a few things I heard as a freshman that are worth passing along. First, surround yourself with people that work hard on and off the field. Just like it's a lot easier to get in the weight room when you have a lifting buddy, it's a lot easier to choose to stay in on a Friday or Saturday night and do the work that you really need to do when you can call a friend and know that they'll be joining you. Second and relatedly, meet as many people and as many different types of people as you can. The more you feel at home on the Hill, the happier you'll be and the better you'll do. And third? Sleep, for the love of God, sleep. Life is far more interesting when you're awake.
Q: Your brother, John ’15, is on the team with you. What is it like competing with your sibling? Do you challenge each other to be better when competing?
A: Playing with Gipp is fantastic. Knowing that your brother is gunning for you in a qualifying round always makes you play just a little bit harder. He's a great friend, and admitting this pains me, he's a better golfer than I am.
Q: I hear your dad is a big Notre Dame football fan. What was it like growing up watching the Fighting Irish? Are you and your brother fans, too?
A: Saturday afternoons when the Irish are playing are a special time in our house. Gipper and I, as our names might give away, are big fans like our Dad. We're looking forward to redemption in the national championship game next year.
Q: What will Daniel "Knute" Gailor be doing five years from now?
A: In five years I can see myself in Washington, D.C., and researching for a Ph.D. in international relations, working in business, or entering the foreign service. I'm not quite sure where the pieces will fall yet, but I'm looking forward to finding out.