Ben Koisti’s favorite place to visit is Disney World because he believes dreams really do come true. At a young age of two years old, he was given his first set of golf clubs by his parents. Since then, golf has become second nature to Koisti (in photo) even landing him a spot on the University of Minnesota Crookston Men’s Golf team. Koisti has a passion for golf, but even a bigger passion for education. The sophomore from Lake Norden, South Dakota, majors in golf and turf management with big dreams.
Golf taught Koisti patience and that hard work pays off. These lessons have clearly impacted him as he obtained the role of vice president for the Crookston Student Association in his second year on campus. Koisti proudly serves as a voice for the student body by serving on various committees and boards. His ambition does not stop there; he also is active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Athlete Advisory Committees, Golf & Turf Bowl Team, as well as a student- athlete.
In February, Koisti traveled to Orlando, Florida, to compete in the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Collegiate Turf Bowl. His teammates were golf and turf management majors Cody Pamperin, a senior from Shakopee, Minn.; Jacob Butcher, a junior from Crookston, Minn.; and David Zapata, a senior from Harvard, Ill. Fifty-eight teams participated in the three-hour competition that tested students on their knowledge of weeds, diseases, insects, grasses, seeds, equipment, pesticides, business practices and turfgrass growth and management. The team from Crookston finished in the middle of the pack, and Koisti and his teammates, along with coach Associate Professor Kristie Walker, were happy with their placing. “We all competed for the first time so it was a great first experience for us and we know what to expect when we prepare for next year’s competition in San Antonio, Texas,” he says.
Koisti finds his inspiration to succeed from his role model, Tyler Taschner. When Koisti was a high school freshman, Taschner was a three sport high school senior. Both golf athletes, they would ride to practice together. During Taschner’s senior year, he was involved in a hunting accident, where a tree landing on his back, paralyzing him from the waist down. Koisti states, “He’s by far my role model and will always be my role model because he was so humble about the whole process. He never said “why me.” Like Taschner, Koisti aims to live every day with a positive attitude and bring happiness to others.
Koisti’s summer plans involve returning home to his hometown’s golf course to work as the assistant superintendent. In addition, he looks forward to his hobbies: golfing, fishing, and playing and coaching basketball. In the future, he dreams of travelling south to manage his own golf course year round, and possibly advance to the next level in golf as a professional. The U of M Crookston is proud to have Koisti’s infectious ambition, positivity, and school spirit.