Written By: Greg Johnson
FARMINGTON HILLS – Kim Moore went to the University of Indianapolis with plans to become a medical doctor, but success in competition as part of the school golf team led to three years of professional tour golf and coaching as well.
“I found my passion in coaching golf,” said the head women’s golf coach at Western Michigan University, who also continues to find success in competition.
Last summer she made golf history as an adaptive golf champion and she has been named the Golf Association of Michigan’s (GAM) Champion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for 2023.
Moore, 42 and a GAM member through The Moors Golf Club in Portage as well as a PGA teaching professional, went wire-to-wire to win the women’s overall champion title in the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open at Pinehurst Resort’s Course No. 6 in North Carolina. Born without a right foot and a clubbed left foot, Moore called her win in the Adaptive Open and being honored by the GAM humbling and exciting.
“When I’m out playing golf I’m just playing, wanting to do my best and trying to win, that’s always a goal, and then there’s a lot that comes with it,” she said. “I’m so proud to win an award like this because it means the awareness is out there for disabled golf. The more awareness the better and especially if it can inspire a younger person out there who is struggling.”
Moore has been inspiring others for years. In 2015 the national Women’s Golf Coaches Association created the Kim Moore Spirit Award to recognize a student-athlete or coach who exemplifies a great spirit, mental toughness and a positive attitude toward the game. She has competed in U.S. National Amputee Golf Championships since 2003 and has won 14 titles. She also played last May in The Cairns Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition for disabled golfers that was held at The Shire in London, England. She was the only woman that competed for Team USA.
“Kim is an inspiration and a perfect role model for diversity, equity and inclusion,” said GAM Secretary Dan Longeway in nominating Moore for the award. “She has a fighting spirit and perseverance.”
Moore was hired as the Western’s coach in November of 2020 after seven years at Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Ind.) where she coached the Belles to two NCAA Division III Team Championship appearances and three consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference championships (2017-2019).
She said progress is being made in the program at Western with some dedicated players.
“It’s about helping players learn and improve while I continue to learn and improve as a coach,” she said. “It’s great to be at Western and work with outstanding athletes, golfers and people. I’ve been very fortunate to play, and I’m fortunate to have the coaching opportunity at Western. I want to help my players find opportunities that are rewarding to them.”
In addition to recognizing Moore, the GAM DE&I committee also awarded $1,000 grants to three organizations that have directly enhanced and grown diversity and inclusion – Tee-Set Golf Club, the Flint Junior Golf Association and the Cass Tech Alumni Association Golf Committee.
Tee-Set Golf Club, founded in 1979 by women golfers, including several educators and administrators in the Detroit Public Schools, will use the funding to augment its scholarship program for college-bound young people in the organization’s junior golf programming.
The Flint Junior Golf Association was established in 1939 to provide young golfers, regardless of personal circumstances, golf opportunities. The organization funds participation fee aid, a scholarship program and increased participation of minority groups, including those with neuro-behavioral and physical challenges.
The Cass Tech Alumni Association Golf Committee, founded over 20 years ago, supports the boys’ and girls’ golf teams at Cass Tech High School via fundraising and donations. The support includes seeking golf equipment and help covering costs for the teams to travel and compete. Cass Tech is the only Detroit Public School to offer golf as an athletic program.