Each week through August, the Wyoming County Press Examiner will be spotlighting a “Sportsperson of the Week” to recognize the efforts and achievements of our community members still enjoying their sporting passion.
This week, we spotlight Kathy Goeringer, a golfer from Tunkhannock. Goeringer is also a high school girls basketball and volleyball official, and retired NCAA women’s basketball official who has worked an Elite 8.
Name and Age: Kathy Goeringer, 62
High School: Tunkhannock Area, Class of 1976
Job: Retired as director of printing and publications at Luzerne County Community College.
What age did you begin golfing? At 18
How did you get involved? I always loved golfing. I remember my first club was a putter. I got it from Grant’s Department Store in Forty Fort, they had a bin of clubs for like a dollar or two each. You just went in and picked out what you wanted.
Who did you begin golfing with initially? Ann Bluhm and her husband Jeff. She was the girls basketball coach, and also helped out with track. We played the summer after high school, before I left for Slippery Rock for college. In my junior year at Slippery Rock, I stayed out there over the summer and joined a ladies golf league there.
Now who? I play in the Shadowbrook ladies league on Thursday nights, which I helped start in 1982. There are still two or three of us around from that original league, and we had 56 women last year. With the COVID-19 now we are down to 36 women, but I have no doubt we can clear 60 next year. I also play in a league at Hollenback in Wilkes-Barre.
What equipment is needed to be successful? Obviously a good set of clubs, but also patience. One day you could play quite well, but then the next you wonder what the heck?
Where do you golf? I am a member at Shadowbrook and the Wyoming Valley Country Club.
Have you seen any interesting places because of golf? Through the American Cancer Society, I have been able to go to Disney World in Florida, La Quinta (home of the PGA West) in California, and to Doral in Miami twice. I have been all over our state as well, from Pittsburgh to Gettysburg.
Has your sport taken you out of the country? Yes, I took a golf vacation to Northern Ireland. I hope to do more of that now that I am retired.
Have you received any awards or accolades? I have been fortunate to have won some good tournaments. I won the club championship at Shadowbrook 12-15 times, and last year I won both the senior club championship and ladies McCarthy at Wyoming Valley Country Club. Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, it seemed everyone had women’s tournaments, certainly more than there are now. I have also won the Pocono Women’s, the Internut Industries tourney in Wilkes-Barre, won my flight at the Florey Keating at Corning, and was state champion in the American Cancer Society tournament.
Tips to offer rookies: Patience. I cannot stress that enough. Golf is not an easy game, it takes a lot of practice, a lot of time, there isn’t just a bat, a ball, and a glove…. There are lots of different clubs, different distances. You need to know if the greens are fast or slow, and each course is its own challenge. You need time to develop.
How would you explain this sport to people unfamiliar with it? The challenge of hitting a little white ball with crude instruments into a hole, and it’s a whole lot of fun.
Biggest accomplishment? A bunch of years ago I would have said winning. But looking at the bigger picture now, it is nice to just enjoy the sport and be with the people I love, and share this lifetime sport. I have had the opportunity to meet people who have become my best friends, and they share the love of the game with me. Terry Wise runs a girls golf program, and I am now fortunate to be helping out with it. I can give back and share with others. That’s my biggest accomplishment.
Athletes you admire: I would have loved to have met Arnold Palmer, he was so humble and rooted, he wasn’t into the celebrity part of it. I would have loved to just sit and chat with him. Also, Kathy Whitworth, who was a pioneer in the ladies PGA. I initially liked her because we had the same name, spelled the same way, but when I met her, she just was impressive. And of course, Babe Zaharias.
Superstitions or rituals involved? I have to carry a towel with me. For the longest time it was a brown one, but I lost that one. Now I have a blue one. I have to have it on my bag and carry it on the green. The blue one is rather ratty now, I do wash it, but some people still won’t pick it up for me if it drops. Also, I must wear a bucket hat, no baseball caps. It is kind of my signature look. People know its me out there by my big bucket hat.