Aim high, shoot low

Golf Coach Mike Kearbey shares coaching philosophy as team prepares for spring season

As the fall season for atheletics draws to a close, Walla Walla University Golf Coach Mike Kearbey reveals his hopes as they look forward ot their spring season.

WWU: What drew you to coaching the golf team here at WWU? 
Mike Kearby: I get a kick out of teaching an activity that I consider to be the most challenging, yet rewarding, games in the world. Golf can allow a great deal of time for reflection and yet it can be as competitive as you want it to be. This allows us many opportunities to grow as a team and as individuals. 

WWU: What are your goals for this year's team? 
Kearbey: I have a very young team with tons of potential. I would love to see all of our players shoot their lowest rounds ever at some point this year, especially if that’s during tournament play. 

WWU: What is your coaching philosophy? 
Kearbey: A sound philosophy should look for coaching successes and failures in many ways. On and off the course, how do we represent ourselves? Do we represent WWU in a way that all would be proud to see? Do we represent Jesus in the ways others see us? Are we passionate, giving 100% to better ourselves? Are we stoic in the way we win and lose? Keeping these things in mind while playing a game we love makes these goals/philosophies that much more enjoyable.

WWU: Do you have any pregame rituals you lead the team in? 
Kearbey: On the way to our tourneys we have team prayer and our day’s focus on the bus. Beyond general warmups, each player has found a pregame routine that they have practiced and that works for them. Golf is such a mental game that there isn’t one routine that necessarily fits all. It can even change day to day based on one’s specific needs. 

WWU: Have you always been interested in golf? 
Kearbey: Yes. My Grandpa use to take me when I was very young. I reminisce about playing with him today or even imagine what it would be like to play with my dad. I hear my dad was a really good player. I love the competitive angles golf has. It can be therapeutic or competitive.

WWU: What are your interests/hobbies other than golf and coaching? 
Kearbey: I love being a dad and a teacher to my two young boys, Mason and Miles. I love being a husband to my beautiful wife, Kim. Teaching physical education for students in kindergarten through eighth grade at Rogers Adventist School is a blast too. I also enjoy fly fishing and photography­—anything outdoors really.

To learn more about the upcoming spring schedule for the Wolves golf team, visit

Posted Dec. 6, 2019.

Mike Kearbey standing smiling in his gray WWU Golf quarter-zip shirt in front of a white background
Kearbey has more than 20 years of experience teaching golf at the college level. He has also coached golf at Walla Walla Valley Academy and worked as a caddie at Coeur d’Alene Resort.