Junior transfer G.K. Morrison had never played a day of golf in his life when he told his dad he was signing up for the team in junior high. When his dad asked him why he would choose golf since he had been a baseball player for most of his life up to that point, Morrison responded by saying “Well, I’m gonna learn,” and he did exactly that.
Now the top player of this fall season for the Wildcats, Morrison’s journey that brought him to ACU’s roster is one of hard work, faith, and God’s guidance.
As a 14-year-old freshman in high school, Morrison lost his older brother and as a result of the loss he turned to his new sport of golf as a way to grieve and to grow. He said that he knows that everything happens for a reason even when you don’t know why, and this mentality of trusting God’s plan has been his outlook on the events in his life ever since, even when it’s hard.
“Sometimes life isn’t going to go right, but you just gotta keep working and stay faithful,” Morrison said. “That’s why I play golf, to glorify God and glorify my brother.”
With golf as an outlet and a family supporting him, Morrison took to the course and would spend hours beating balls out on the range. He quickly realized that this was what he was meant to do and took it with him through four years of varsity golf at Andrews High School and to two state titles in 2013 and 2014. Fast forward from high school and Morrison found himself playing collegiate golf for the University of Louisiana at Monroe, but after playing there for two years he began to feel called to be elsewhere.
God’s hand was already at work in shaping Morrison’s career and during the spring season of this year, ULM and ACU were competing at the same tournament in Austin where Morrison was paired with Wildcats Ryan Beatty and Dillon Vaughn. Over the course of two days, the three spoke of school and golf and specifically of Abilene Christian’s program and environment. This sparked an interest in Morrison, and within a week he had made the decision to pick up everything and move to Abilene for his junior year.
At ACU, Morrison is about 90 miles away from his parents rather than 700, and he says that being closer to family and back in his home state of Texas made him feel more at ease with the challenge of a transition from one university to another.
“It was kind of like coming home,” Morrison said.
For Morrison, ACU did quickly become what felt like “home,” and he said that it feels like he’s been here for a few years rather than a few months. Head coach Tom Shaw said that when he met GK for the first time while he was still playing for ULM, he knew he would be a good match for ACU, and once the opportunity arose for him to be able to come to Abilene to play, the pieces seemed to all fall into place.
“G.K. is able to be who he was designed to be at ACU,” Shaw said. “I think that has allowed him to play better golf without going through the challenges of fitting into a group that might not share the same values.”
Those values are what those who know Morrison personally say make him stand out from people around him. Known for being easy-going and a fan of a good joke, Morrison also has the quiet and serious composure of a true competitor. Staying true to himself has been important to Morrison, especially during this time of change and transition to a new school, new city and new team. It didn’t take long for him to adapt well as the new face of the group and find himself surrounded by teammates that feel like old friends and brothers in Christ that keep each other accountable beyond the golf course.
“The good thing about G.K. is that he has the same personality on the course as off. He doesn’t try to be two different people,” Shaw said.
On the course, Morrison has found himself to be one of the Wildcat’s top players this fall season. Shaw said that he has consistently improved, and that he brings technical talent to the team that pays off in competition. With a mechanically sound swing and a solid short game on and around the greens, he’s a force to be reckoned with and is always striving to be his best, working with an ethic and determination that reflects his passion for the game.
“He’s a good team player,” Shaw said, “but he doesn’t like to lose to anybody, teammate or opponent.”
Shaw said that Morrison’s attention to detail and the way he prepares his mind before each shot has brought him success while competing this fall and has helped establish him as one of the Wildcat’s key players.
When asked if he would have ever imagined being where he is now when he signed up for that junior high boy’s golf team, Morrison said there was no way of knowing all that God had in store for him, but now when he looks back he can clearly see that this has been His plan all along. Morrison hopes to take his talents with him after college and compete for as long as he can, and then work with golf in a coaching position after his time as a player is over, either for a school or as a personal coach.
“I just want to stay around the game for as long as I can,” Morrison said.
But for right now, Morrison and the rest of the Wildcats are busy focusing on the last tournament of the fall slate, before the hiatus leading up to the spring season.