Golda Borst has taken the Kentucky women’s golf program to new heights in her 12 seasons on the job. In addition to eight NCAA regional appearances and six team championships, the team broke through with an NCAA Championship Finals berth in 2021, the program’s first since 1992.
She enters her 13th season at the helm of the program in 2022-23.
Borst’s teams have rewritten the school record books, building an even stronger foundation for the future. Under Borst, UK has posted all 10 of the top 10 single-season team scoring averages in program history, with her recent teams stacking at the top of the list, including earning the school record scoring average in 2019-20 (289.53) and the second-best scoring average in 2021-22 (291.23). Her teams have also claimed 25 of the top 25 lowest 18-hole rounds.
Additionally, all 20 of the top 20 single-season player scoring averages in school history are in the Borst era and all 25 of the top 25 marks for most single-season par or better rounds took place with Borst at the helm.
Academically, the program has been just as good as the on-the-course performances. The Wildcats have racked up 29 Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar Team honors, and the program consistently finishes among UK’s team grade-point average leaders, including a 3.598 GPA during the 2021 spring semester. UK has also earned four straight NCAA awards under Borst for finishing in the top 10% of all women’s golf teams in the Academic Progress Rate, which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation (APR paused due to COVID-19).
In 2021-22, Kentucky achieved one of its greatest achievements in earning ninth place in the final 2021-22 Learfield Directors’ Cup Standings, marking its highest overall finish in school history. Borst’s Wildcats helped contribute to that success as one of UK’s 22 eligible teams to reach postseason play and score points toward UK’s final Directors’ Cup tally.
The program is stronger than ever with Borst leading the way, and that was evident after its NCAA Championship finals appearance in 2021. With virtually the same team back from its record-setting 2019-20 group, the Wildcats navigated through a difficult schedule and placed fourth at the NCAA Columbus Regional to earn a spot in the national finals for the first time in 29 years. There, in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kentucky tied for 18th and recorded its best score in school history at the national championship. Individually, Laney Frye made the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team and Rikke Svejgård Nielsen won SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Kentucky’s third all-time winner and the first since 2009.
The NCAA Championship Finals breakthrough was two years in the making. In 2019-20, with a mix of the strongest recruiting class in school history and a balance of talent and experience, the Wildcats won two tournaments in the fall and finished the season ranked No. 25 in the Golfstat rankings. UK was poised for a strong NCAA run but the postseason was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The back-to-back championships in 2019-20 marked the first multi-win season since 1997-98 and were the first consecutive titles since 1990-91, when Kentucky would go on to win a school-record four tournaments. The 2019-20 group shattered the school scoring record by nearly seven strokes while freshman sensation Jensen Castle posted the best 18-hole scoring average in program history and became UK’s first All-SEC First Team pick since 1989.
Borst hit the ground running in her first year in 2010-11 and hasn’t looked back. In addition to lowering the the program’s stroke record on a near annual basis, Kentucky has won six team titles under Borst, claimed 11 individual tournament titles and posted 34 top-five team finishes, including five in 2021-22.
Kentucky nearly broke through with its first NCAA Championship Finals appearance in 2014-15 when the Wildcats finished in seventh place at the 2015 NCAA South Bend Regional, one spot and four strokes behind the cut. Although the team just missed out its much-anticipated breakthrough, Isabelle Johansson earned a slice of history by becoming the first Wildcat qualifier for the national championships since 1998. Johansson would go on to tie the school’s 18-hole record low two seasons later with a 64 at the 2017 UCF Challenge.
Johansson included, Borst has coached and mentored a number of Kentucky women’s golf greats, including 2019 All-SEC Second Team pick Leonie Bettel. The transfer from NC State set a number of marks in her two seasons at UK — including the best 54-hole round in school history and the most rounds of par or better in a season with 14 in 2018-19 — but her crowning achievement was three individual titles in her senior season, just one shy of the school record.
Borst joined the Wildcats from LSU where she served as assistant women’s golf coach from the 2007-08 season to 2009-10. During her stay in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, LSU advanced to NCAA Regionals in each of Borst’s three seasons, highlighted by a 12th-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Championship finals. The 2009 season also saw LSU victories at the Bryan Park National Collegiate and Mercedes-Benz Championship, as well as two individual titles.
A four-year letterwinner for the women’s golf team, Borst graduated from Tennessee in 2006 with a degree in communication studies. At Tennessee, Borst served as team captain in 2005, earned All-SEC Second Team honors in 2006 and was named a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member. Borst’s top collegiate finishes came when she placed second in both the 2005 Bryan Park National Collegiate and 2006 Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational. Borst and the Lady Volunteers advanced to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship Finals during the 2004-06 seasons.
A native of Visby, Sweden, Borst competed for the Swedish National Golf Team from 1999-2003. With Borst, the team claimed medalist honors at the Girls Team European Championship in 2000, second at the Lady’s Team European Championship in 2001 and third in the Lady’s Team European Championship in 2002.
Borst, formerly Golda Johansson, is married to Steve Borst. They have two daughters, Lillian and Elsa.