By JAMES ALLAN
TAIPEI, Taiwan — National Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Famer and former University of Iowa women’s golf coach Diane Thomason has been coaching United States women’s golf student-athletes since 1986.
From Aug. 19-30 in Taiwan, she’ll be leading Team USA women’s golfers at the World University Games.
Thomason is serving as the head coach for USA Team, leading student-athletes from Stanford, Texas, and UCLA. This is Thomason’s second time competing in Taiwan and her fourth time coaching in the World University Games.
“The best part of this is you’re giving these student-athletes an experience,” said Thomason, who works for the University of Iowa’s Foundation. “That’s what keeps bringing me back, to see the delight in the players’ faces when they compete and win.”
Thomason has led USA teams in 15 World Golf Championships, posting eight wins and finishing amongst the top three all but once. She has coached in the countries of Italy, France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ireland, South Africa, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Spain, and South Korea.
Thomason says golf in Taiwan is well received; there just aren’t a lot of courses. She says USA Team golfers will be tested playing at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club in Taoyuan City. Thomason led USA on the same course at the 2002 World Golf Championships.
The course will feature a lot of trees, water, and hills, but Thomason says the most notable difference is the grass.
“It will be Bermuda grass fairways and greens,” she said. “Hopefully the course is in good shape and it’s a good track. It will be a good test.”