Nov. 26—2023 All-Area girls’ golf Coach of the Year: St. Thomas More’s Kim Zahrn
Discover What Makes Kim Zahrn the Coach of the Year
St. Thomas More’s girls’ golf program, under the leadership of Kim Zahrn, has demonstrated remarkable consistency and success. This season, the Sabers achieved an increase in their numbers, clinched a Class 1A regional title, and saw junior Ashley Wells qualify for the state tournament as an individual. In an exclusive interview, Kim Zahrn and her husband, Tony Zahrn, STM assistant coach, shared their insights into the past season and their passion for the sport:
Kim: “I began as head coach with just one senior girl, and the fact that we now have eight girls who had never played golf and decided to give it a try is amazing. My goal is to bolster the presence of female golfers. Many women are unaware that they can play golf for life. The best part is being outdoors, spending time with friends, and enjoying a game that can be played indefinitely. That’s my team’s ultimate goal.”
Tony: “It has been an incredible journey. A friend of mine, Alan Dodds, approached me and asked if Kim would be interested in assisting him. This led to her becoming an assistant coach. This year she came to me and said, ‘Tony, I think we’re going to have eight girls. Why don’t you be my assistant? Since you’re already volunteering and helping out, you can do it.’ She convinced me, and I jumped through the hoops to become her assistant for this year. It’s been an absolute joy. The girls adore her, and she has not only been a coach but also a mentor and a friend. It’s been remarkable to witness her build those relationships, and I provide support and encouragement in any way I can.”
How does it feel to have your husband as a coach beside you?
Kim: “He’s incredible. I’m a hands-on coach, so during regionals, my players found it amusing that I walked them down until they were near the green. I ran back, walked the next one out, and Tony was there. The starter asked, ‘Does your wife always do that?’ He replied, ‘To calm their nerves, she does.’ I think I had 6,000 steps before the first hole was even over. But that’s how I coach.”
How did you get into golf?
Kim: “I’ve been playing golf for 14 years. My husband taught me everything I know. I never even touched a golf club before, which is why I can market it so effectively. My husband and I were playing mini-golf, and he casually asked me if I wanted to participate in a tournament. I replied, ‘Sure, I’m good at putting.’ A week before the match, he took me to get my clubs, and that’s when I realized they didn’t have putters for rent. I had never touched a golf club before. Fast forward to today, and I can’t stop playing golf. I just can’t. I tell the girls it’s all about love. You need some ability, of course, but I can teach. That’s how I learned.”
What are some memorable moments from this season?
Kim: “My players and I love to have fun. We had a Barbie-themed senior night. We all dressed in pink, had Barbie tattoos, and enjoyed Barbie-themed drinks. It was a lot of fun. Regionals were unexpected, and when we won the trophy, tears flowed. Those were great moments. But overall, seeing these girls working hard, witnessing their learning process, and the excitement on their faces is what stands out.”
What drives you to continue with golf?
Tony: “It’s my way of unwinding from work, playing golf for myself, or with Kim, and seeing young golfers progress. One of our players, in particular, whenever she hit a great shot, the smile and excitement she displayed are truly what it’s all about.”
Kim: “First and foremost, you need to love the sport, and I absolutely do. Everything about golf, I love. I want to be on a golf course every day. The love for the game is the primary driving force for me. I also have a deep affection for the high school kids. As a retired teacher, working with this age group, which is very different from first and second graders, is refreshing. It’s great to be able to connect with them, and they want to connect with me.”
By JOEY WRIGHT
Daniel Miller takes readers to the greens with his passion for golf. He offers coverage of major golf tournaments, player achievements, and insights into the sport’s rich history, making him a trusted source for golf enthusiasts.