One of the most successful women's golfers in school history, Myra Blackwelder, became the University of Kentucky's seventh coach in school history and third in UK varsity annals when she took over the reigns of the program in May 2007.
Blackwelder, a relentless achiever hopes to instill a dedication to succeed within a rejuvenated golf program in one of the nation's elite women's golf conferences. Blackwelder and her staff have begun laying the groundwork for future success with tireless recruiting efforts, bridging a deeper relationship between the team and the Lexington community, and teaching the importance of technique and strategy on the links.
"I'm extremely excited to take on the challenge of rebuilding the UK golf program," said Blackwelder. "This program is near and dear to my heart as I was on the very first UK women's golf team, so it brings me full circle with Kentucky."
Blackwelder's inaugural season at the helm of the Wildcats was a successful step in rebuilding a program rich with tradition. The UK alumna directed the team to five top-10 finishes while also guiding two players to four top-10 finishes, three by Mallory Blackwelder and one from Kristin Vincent. Additionally, Mallory Blackwelder participated in the NCAA Championships as an individual, the first post-season action for the Cats since 1992.
The 2008-09 season proved to be another successful campaign for Blackwelder and the Wildcats. Kentucky captured their first top finish under Blackwelder at the Lady Mocs Invitational. Over the course of the season, Kentucky notched six top-10 finishes, and finished in the top 15 of all 10 of their events. Eight Wildcats recorded 14 top-20 finishes, including Mallory Blackwelder's first-place effort at the Lady Mocs Invitational. To cap off the season, Blackwelder directed the 08-09 squad to the NCAA Regional for the first time since 1992.
By season's end, Blackwelder and the Cats played their way into the record books. Shooting a third-round 288 at the LSU Golf Classic, the team set the school's low round record. The Wildcats also set the scoring average record with an average of 305.23 strokes-per-round.
As a player donning the Blue and White, Blackwelder became Kentucky's first female athletic scholarship recipient in 1975 and notched 10 collegiate golf invitational titles. While a collegiate athlete, Blackwelder also claimed two Kentucky State Amateur Championships.
After her success in Lexington, Blackwelder became a fixture in the ranks of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. For 12 seasons, Blackwelder appeared on the LPGA tour winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year in 1980. She joined the LPGA Legends Tour in 2000 and is 37th on the career money list.
Blackwelder previously served as Head Women's Golf Coach for one season at Transylvania University (2000-01) and was the boys and girls golf coach for two seasons at Woodford County, (Ky.) High School.
Since 1992, Blackwelder has served as a golf instructor at Man O' War Golf Club in Lexington and at Planter's Row in Nicholasville. Individual golf students have won titles at varying levels including the NCAA, American Junior Golf Association, PGA Junior Series, Kentucky State Amateur and Miss Kentucky Golf. She has also been involved with numerous Kentucky high school players who have been named all-state members and won regional and invitational high school tournaments.
In addition to coaching, Blackwelder is a founding member of the Kentucky Sports Authority. She served as the LPGA Goals and Objectives Chairman in 1988, LPGA Veterans Forum Chairman in 2005 and is currently a member of the Ryder Cup Task Force in preparation for the 2008 Ryder Cup, being held at Valhalla in Louisville.
Blackwelder has been honored in various Kentucky Hall of Fames including the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, Kentucky Golf, and Kentucky Sports.
Blackwelder is married to Worth Blackwelder, and they have two children, Myles and Mallory.