Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Golf odyssey of Texas women’s associate head coach Kate Golden

Peyton Sims
Professional golfer Scottie Scheffler sets up his ball and tee at the Dell Match Play tournament on March 26.

Women’s golf associate head coach Kate Golden boasts an 18-year tenure on the LPGA tour and is currently in her 14th season coaching at her alma mater, but it all started with the help of a golf legend.

“When I first started playing, (my father) took me to Harvey for lessons,” Golden said. “He said, ‘I’m an attorney. I’m not a golf instructor. I’m taking you to a golf instructor … because if you like it and you want to play, well let’s do it right.’”

Harvey Penick, a revered member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, who coached Golden’s father, Joe Bob, played a large role in shaping Golden’s approach to the game. Despite her father’s own golfing background and brief stint as an assistant coach during his law school years, he knew Golden’s best shot at greatness would be under the leadership of his former coach. 

She recalls her first golf lesson at Austin Country Club, beginning with Penick picking the range in an aged cart with a makeshift bucket helmet, listening to his advice the entire way through. 

“He said, ‘You’re really talented, but my advice to you is that you don’t listen to anybody … (because) if you listen to everybody, you’re going to get yourself messed up,’” Golden said. 

With his advice of ingraining her swing and letting go, she went on. As a 16-year-old, Golden started booking her own flights to compete in golf tournaments across the country in her teenage years. She went on to attend Texas, where she shares a historic connection with her father. Her individual championship victory in the 1987 Southwest Conference echoed her family’s legacy, with her father having clinched the title in 1954. 

After graduating in 1989, she played in the LPGA from 1992 to 2010, clinching a victory at the 2001 State Farm Classic and participating in over 30 major championships, earning nearly $1.5 million throughout her career. 

“As far as golf goes, it’s about scoring, not necessarily all the technical stuff and the swing … they don’t have pictures on scorecard,” Golden said. “As far as life, 18 years on tour taught me hard work and patience … and being resilient because (golf) can be excruciating at times.”

Her coaching journey began as an interim head coach at Florida State in 2010 where she led the Seminoles to their best national finish in decades. 

“A lot of people’s (identities are) so caught up in playing the game that they don’t know what they want to do when they’re done playing,” Golden said. 

She was later offered the chance to volunteer in Texas by Martha Richards while living in Houston. That eventually led to her being appointed associate coach in 2012. Reflecting on her time in Texas, Golden describes it as a whirlwind adventure, one that she hopes leaves her team with a rare memory of her as her girls embark on a life outside of Texas. 

“I hope (they) think I’m knowledgeable, number one, but my delivery of certain messages always has a hint of humor,” Golden said. “I hope they remember me as being kind and sincere, (those are the) words that I would like.” 

Golden and head coach Ryan Murphy have revitalized the Longhorns’ golf program, securing three consecutive Big 12 Conference Championships (2017-19) and seven straight NCAA Championship appearances. Texas is currently ranked No.8 with a 50-29-6 record, and has a scoring average of 280.6. The Longhorns will host the NCAA Championship May 17-22 at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, California.

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About the Contributor
Peyton Sims, Associate Photo Editor
Peyton is senior journalism student at UT Austin. During this fall semester, she's an Associate Photo Editor for The Daily Texan and she's a true crime Podcast Producer for The Drag Audio Production House.