Women's Golf Week Spotlight: Taylor Kim

This interview feature is part of the Association's celebration of Women's Golf Week presented by adidas Golf Canada. Women’s Golf Week is an annual initiative running May 28 to June 4, 2024 to engage, empower and support women and girls in golf, leading to a culmination with International Women's Golf Day on June 4. Facilities throughout BC will be hosting events to celebrate the PGA of BC's women professionals and to encourage women’s participation, inclusion and visibility. We will be on-site filming and taking photos at several Women’s Golf Week events throughout the province. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on social media for content from a variety of exciting events around the province. The PGA of BC extends our gratitude to adidas Golf Canada for their generous support of this important initiative.

May 28, 2024

RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) - PGA of Canada Class "A" and LPGA Class "A" Professional Taylor Kim was immersed in golf from a young age. Her father, a former Teaching Professional in Korea, began coaching Kim when she was nine years old, growing up in Surrey. Following several years of training, at thirteen Kim began competing in junior tournaments and amateur events all over North America, demonstrating her elite abilities. Her high-level of play during her teenage years earned Kim a selection to Team Canada, as well as a scholarship to Kent State University and an opportunity to represent the Kent State Golden Flashes golf team.

In the years that followed, Kim’s career blossomed. In 2014, Kim won the British Columbia Golf Women’s Amateur, a major accomplishment in her young career. At Kent State, she was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in 2016, with her squad winning the conference championship in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Per Kent State, in her senior season Kim posted the best single season scoring average in school history.

“Playing on Team Canada and for Kent State, I learned a lot about a team atmosphere and to be together with the people around you. Being a good golfer is important, but I was always taught to be an even better person to my community and to those around me. I try to always motivate and pass along that message to my students, especially my juniors. Putting in the time to work hard is so important, not only to get better at the game but in anything you do. That mindset really pushed me to become who I am today, being a pro athlete, a coach and the only female professional at Beach Grove.”

Following the close of her college career, Kim turned pro and earned a massive opportunity: she qualified for the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California, her first tournament as a professional. Despite missing the cut, Kim said the experience served as a formative experience to help drive her career forward.

“That U.S. Open was only two weeks after I graduated from Kent State. Obviously, I was very excited when I won the sectional qualifier for a spot in the U.S. Open. But when I first stepped onto the tee, I was so, so nervous, I couldn’t really hear anything and it was so nerve-wracking. Being friends with Brooke Henderson from my time on Team Canada, she was by my side and really helped me with my nerves,” said Kim.

“It was such a great experience competing in the U.S. Open. I felt like I grew a lot as a player, and I felt more confidence in myself that has translated to coaching and to the golf industry in general. It was a special experience and was moving for me, my team and my family.”

Kim competed on the Symetra Tour (now Epson Tour) for several years before earning her PGA of Canada and LPGA Class “A” Professional designations in 2019. She currently serves as a Professional at Tsawwassen’s Beach Grove Golf Club, where she focuses on coaching.

“This would be my 6th season as a golf professional at Beach Grove Golf Club and my first season as a full time teaching professional. I’m extremely grateful and proud to enhance my coaching experience at Beach Grove. The membership at Beach Grove has been the most supportive since day one and the golf professionals I work with, Brent Derrheim and Jordan Rodda, are the best people to be around," said Kim. "We make a great team and truly support each other. I'm surrounded by a family alike atmosphere at Beach Grove and I look forward to going to work every day. This is why I love being a part of the golf industry. There is always something to look forward to at the golf course!" 

A career in golf has always remained Kim’s priority as she transitioned from competitive play to her current role as a professional.

“Golf has been a massive part of my life since I was a young girl, it still is and it will continue to be. I’ve met some amazing people, have had some awesome coaches mentor me throughout my career, and learnt some valuable lessons to help me grow as a person. I haven’t really thought about doing anything else other than pursuing a career in golf, whether it’s playing, coaching or even management. I always wanted to grow the game and spread the word on how amazing the sport is.”

It is exciting to see the growth of the sport among women and to see the fresh perspectives they bring as professionals and as players to the industry, said Kim.

“Because the industry consists of more men than women, I would say us female pros and players are special and bring so much value to the industry. Behind the scenes, women bring a variety of perspectives from a different point of view which helps the industry spot new opportunities,” said Kim.

“We see a lot of women and girls making golf content and growing on social media, which is so much fun and attracts more women and men to the game. Women bring so much value and joy to the golfing community on and off the course.”

Creating a comfortable, welcoming environment that promotes a love for the game is a key goal and focus of Kim’s in her career as a professional and coach. She credits her father for passing down a positive and measured mindset that she can share with her students.

“I always like to start my day feeling confident about myself and knowing my worth, that I’m capable of doing anything. I have that mindset and I try my best to promote that attitude to any women or girls who may feel intimidated by golf. My dad used the same approach with me whenever I was feeling nervous or intimidated, and that made me stronger and motivated me to enjoy the game no matter what. It’s completely normal to feel intimidated for not only women, but also men, because it is an individual sport. It’s my goal and my pleasure to help any golfer who may feel that way.”

As a role model to junior girls, Kim stressed the importance of the process and journey, instead of focusing solely on results. She has formed many lifelong memories and friendships through the sport and said those memories are more important than simply performing at an elite level and winning tournaments.

“Just enjoy all the aspects of the journey, especially as a junior girl. Golf is not all about just winning tournaments, having to beat others all the time, having to constantly think ‘I need to get better.’ To be honest, that’s how I thought when I was younger. Now I realize golf is exactly like life, you need to enjoy everything there is to offer, including the challenging rounds and the losses to your competitors,” said Kim.

“I 100 percent understand all those feelings of anxiety, frustration, feeling like you’re unable to make your parents and others proud. I went through all of that myself as a junior golfer, but then realized that I should really care about the relationships and memories I made through golf. I wish I realized that sooner. The message I really hope to pass along is to fall in love with the game, be a competitor and a good person to those around you and enjoy every moment of it. Everything will work out in its own ways.”

Forming a community of women in the industry and creating opportunities for women and girls to fall in love with golf in an inclusive setting will lead to further growth of the sport overall, said Kim. She expressed her happiness in seeing the sense of community among PGA of BC professionals and the empowerment of women by BC’s female professionals.

“It’s quite amazing to see women’s golf grow. My hope is to continue to create a comfortable environment and experience for women on the golf course. Professionals continue to target and focus on creating that community, and we will see a lot more women in the industry.”

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