Photo provided by Trinity Athletics
After serving as captain of the University of Texas Longhorns golf team, Carla Spenkoch made her way to Trinity, where she has spent 22 years as a leader for the Tigers’ golf program. Spenkoch has coached both men and women in her time at Trinity, and she is currently the director of golf and the head women’s golf coach. Spenkoch’s team saw their spring season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Spenkoch still took time to talk about her career and how her team is dealing with the difficult realities of sports being canceled in this edition of Coach’s Corner.
These questions were answered via email.
With this being your 22nd year leading Trinity golf, what keeps you coming back every year?
What keeps me coming back are the women I have on my team. I have a very young team and enthusiastic group that makes coaching them and seeing them improve very exciting.
Since you have experience coaching both, what, in your opinion, is the biggest difference between coaching men and women golfers?
Since coaching both men and women’s teams, the biggest difference I feel would be in taking instruction. The women want to change as little as possible and seem to panic a little if you tell them too much information. The men, on the other hand, want as much information as they can get.
Having played at the University of Texas at Austin, how does your time as a player for a major Division I school compare to your time leading a Division III program?
It has been a long time since I played at Texas, but we played and practiced so much more because we were on scholarship. Most of my day was spent on the driving range or golf course. In Division III they spend most of the time studying.
What’s something you know now as a coach that you wish you knew as a player?
Being a coach makes you realize how much of golf is course management and not hitting the perfect shot.
What’s your favorite memory at Trinity?
I have many favorites as far as memories. Taking the men to Nationals and winning SCAC championships are great memories.
How did you find out the spring golf season was canceled due to COVID-19, and what was your reaction?
We found out our season was canceled when we were at the golf course practicing for our Arizona tournament. We were actually leaving the next day. I was shocked because everything happened so fast and was really looking forward to our season. We had won our first tournament and were looking forward to competing with some different schools.
What was your message to your team as news of the season’s end settled in?
We had a team meeting and everyone was pretty upset. We were really looking forward to going to Arizona. I told them that we were lucky in that we had no seniors. We basically talked for a couple of hours and about what they could do to prepare for next year and how good we could be next season.
How would you feel about professional golf coming back with the condition that no fans can attend tournaments?
I would be good with the tour starting up again and having no fans. I am ready to start watching some golf.
If you could play a round of golf against any current professional golfer, who would you choose to face and why?
If I could play a round of golf with anyone it would probably be Mickey Wright. She is someone I always admired as a person and a professional player on the tour.
What three people, past or present, would you invite to your dream dinner party?
[My] dream dinner would be my mother, father and brother.
If you could tell the world one thing about yourself, what would you say and why?
I am a very competitive person. I’ve played sports my entire life and enjoy winning.