An LPGA teaching professional will lead Pellissippi State Community College’s first men’s golf team starting this fall.
Mackensie Grohman, originally from California, has been hired as head coach, tasked with building a men’s golf program from the ground up as the college embarks on its inaugural season of competitive athletics.
It’s an exciting opportunity for the former high school and college golfer, who learned the game from her father when she was 13.
“My high school was having a girls’ golf team for the first time ever, and I fell in love with it,” said Grohman, who has been golfing for 23 years. “I started practicing every day. I was super into it.”
Grohman was so into golf, in fact, that she moved to Alabama to attend Spring Hill College, which has a college-owned golf course on campus.
“That was a real appeal to me,” remembered Grohman, who served as captain of the women’s golf team. “It was a small school, and you lived on campus until your senior year, when you got to live in apartments on the 14th fairway of the golf course.”
Grohman’s passion for the game never waned. She knew she wanted to work in golf, and she made it happen – working as an assistant golf professional in Arizona and a golf shop manager/merchandiser in North Carolina before an opportunity to work for First Tee of Tennessee brought her to Knoxville in 2019.
As program director, Grohman hired and trained coaches and volunteers, developed new curriculum for each eight-week session and scheduled tournaments, among her many responsibilities. She also started the LGPA Teacher Education Program, completing Levels 1 and 2 in 2022.
For the past year, Grohman has served as the LGPA teaching instructor at Dead Horse Lake Golf Course in Knoxville, a job she will continue while serving Pellissippi State part time as a coach.
“I have had the opportunity to coach children ages 4-17 as well as adults of all ages, and I think being a college coach sounds like an awesome job,” said Grohman, who welcomed her first child, a daughter named Emilia, with her husband, Ron, in May. “We’ve already had a bunch of people interested, and there are a lot of good players out there.”
Grohman will be selecting eight men to play for Pellissippi State this fall from those who filled out Pellissippi State’s online interest form. She already has scheduled three tournaments for October and may add one in September. In the meantime, she’s also in the process of finding a home course where the team will practice.
Pellissippi State will field only a men’s golf team in fall 2023, just as the college will field only a women’s volleyball team this inaugural season. Federal Title IX regulations require that women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports, but the sports do not need to be identical under the law.
Lesli Bales-Sherrod does marketing and writing for Pellissippi State Community College.