An acclaimed Student-Athlete
Star LPGA player Kim Kaufman is your perfect example of a student-athlete who possesses a huge amount of talent on and off the golf course.
In Adelaide ready for the Women’s Australian Open at Royal Adelaide Golf Club starting on February 16 the astute Kaufman, holds a degree in political science and was the top graduating senior in the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech University.
She recorded the highest academic honour in school history for any Texas Tech women's golfer including a 4.0 grade-point average in political science.
"I have always wanted to play professional golf, but as a teenager I was more realistic and had a strong interest in becoming a lawyer," Kaufman said.
"I decided to give golf a try after college and am happy I made that choice."
Playing as an amateur her collegiate golf was at Texas Tech, where she was a two-time All-American along with being named the 2012 Fall College Player of the Year.
Kaufman is positive she wouldn't be where she is today without her parents, Teresa and Terry, along with older sibling Ashley, 27.
"My parents always gave me all the opportunities they could," she said.
"Ashley and I grew up playing together.
“She was a big reason I have had so much success.
“My drive to beat my older sister proved a great motivator to get better.
Kaufman remembers back when her father (Terry), would come home from work and together with her sister (Ashley) would go straight to the golf course and would usually stay until dark.
She then started lessons with coach Todd Kolb two decades ago and amazingly the pair are still working together today.
"At six years old I started taking lessons from Todd and nearly 20 years later we are still working together," Kaufman continued
"Todd has really built my game to be able to play on the LPGA.
"I wouldn't be here without my parents and Todd."
Kaufman's love for golf was evident not playing any other sports although she did have another interest.
"I didn't play any other sports," she mused.
"I was a bit of a band and theatre nerd, though."
Her first season on the LPGA Tour she played in 19 events making 12 cuts that included three top ten finishes.
In 2015 the Fort Worth local, managed to make 21 cuts of the 28 tournaments which included a career-best runner up at China's Blue Bay event.
"Finishing second in the 2015 Blue Bay Championship in China was fantastic," Kaufman remembered.
"It was the second to last tournament of the year and a great way to end the season."
The World number 84 played the second most (30) events of any player in 2016 making 22 cuts with three top ten finishes and it was last season that Kaufman took her earnings over the $1million mark.
But her finish at last year's Australian Open is something she is keen to improve next month at Royal Adelaide.
"(The 2016 season) wasn't my highest finish on the money list, but overall it was definitely the most consistent," Kaufman said.
"I'm very happy with the three top 10's and hope to keep increasing that number every year.
"As much as I love coming to this event I haven't had much success so I would be happy to start my overseas stretch with a top 30 finish."
The 25 year old loves coming to Australia for not only the golf but also her time outside the course.
"I really look forward to playing in Australia every year," she confirmed.
Images- Kim Kaufman and Peter Argent