Throwback photo: Head coach Pavon & Golda Johansson
Jan. 22, 2014
Golda Johansson Borst played for the Tennessee women's golf program from 2002 to 2006. During her Lady Vol career, Borst served as team captain in 2005 and finished with a 76.19 stroke average. She also garnered 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 during the 2004-06 seasons.
A native of Visby, Sweden, Borst is currently the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats women's golf team. Prior to Kentucky, Borst served as an assistant women's golf coach at LSU. She also competed for the Swedish National Golf Team from 1999-2003.
Golda Johansson Borst
Q: Coach Borst, update Lady Vol fans on what you are currently doing? A: "I am the head women's golf coach at the University of Kentucky. I've been at Kentucky for three and a half years. I've been coaching women's golf for over seven years now."
Q: What are some of the better memories you can recall from your playing days at Tennessee? A: "Well I played from 2002 to 2006 and I really loved my time as a Lady Volunteer. When I look back, I would say some of the best memories were all the trips we took in the big great bus we had. I really enjoyed travelling in it. The other teams would just stare at us when we pulled into the golf course parking lots. We would always watch Remember the Titans as we pulled in on tournament days to get pumped up. That bus was amazing and we had a lot of fun in it!
"The support we got as a student-athlete and the education we received were great memories. I remember some of the great trips like when we went to Hawaii. Also, the regionals championships we played and we finally advanced to the championships and got over that hurdle. That was a big deal for us. Another one was the SEC Championship at Vanderbilt. I really felt we came together as a team and fought all the way to the end.
"I still have a lot of passion for the University of Tennessee and I really thankful and appreciative of the opportunity that they gave me."
Q: Along those same lines do you have any funny stories from your time on Rocky Top that you could share? A: "I used to not like Mexican food and we would eat it all the time because everyone else really enjoyed it. So, one time we played for the privilege of picking the restaurant. I ended up winning and without realizing it, I picked a Mexican place. I chose the restaurant that looked to be the most fun and everyone was laughing, but I couldn't understand why. Then we walked inside and I realized it was Mexican... I wasn't too happy in that moment but it was pretty funny afterwards."
Q: Was there a big transition phase moving from Sweden to Knoxville, Tenn.? A: "I had been to America before. I actually had played in the Mercedes-Benz tournament with the Swedish national team. So I think Judi [Pavon] watched me some there. It was a pretty easy decision once [Coach Pavon] offered me. I was familiar with the campus. I was familiar with Knoxville and that was really important to me.
"It's always a challenging transition, but I think it went really well. I had moved away from home since I was 16 so that probably helped, too."
Q: So you weren't overwhelmed by all the Tennessee orange? A: "You know, people have asked me that. At that time, I didn't really know much about college golf. But I love bright colors so the orange worked great for me. So I just soaked it up and enjoyed it. Coming from Sweden, I didn't even know who Pat Summitt was. I knew nothing so coming into that environment I learned really quickly about all that.
I think I have a stronger appreciation for it now after being in college golf for as long as I have. When you're in it, like I said, sometimes you don't know how good you have it. As you move on, you become a lot more thankful than you were. For instance, I sent Judi [Pavon] a message the other day telling her how thankful I am that she took a chance on me."
Q: We know you're the Kentucky golf coach, but do you keep up with the Lady Vols team? A: "I definitely keep up with them. I see Judy Pavon on a regular basis. I consider her one of my friends and we went through a lot in college. You definitely bond with your coach after four and a half years. I'll ask her for advice from time to time and keep up with her and the team when we see them. I think they are doing some great things. She is working really hard and continuing to grow that team. I think we will see some positive things come from them. But we are trying to beat them, you know! (laughs) But I definitely do keep up with the Lady Vols."
Q: Being a Lady Vol golf alum, what advice do you have for the current and future Lady Volunteers? A: "I would say take advantage of all the opportunities you are given. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stuff. But take advantage of all the community service and helping people. Take advantage of the facilities and really soak it all up. I think it's easy to go through your college career and get lost in it all. It's really important to know where you're at in the moment and take advantage of everything in front of you. So that would be my advice. It's something I tell all my girls to do."
Q: Anything else you would like to add? A: "I would just say how thankful I am to Coach Pavon. I wouldn't be where I am today without the University of Tennessee. They took a chance on me being a player from Sweden and not really knowing a whole lot about me. I'm just really thankful for that opportunity and giving me that chance."
Golda Johansson Borst Interview from 2010: