On each end of the tee box, there are 12 ready competitors preparing to hit a perfect drive and put the pressure on the other team. Although in this instance the circumstances are a little different from a normal tournament because all of the participants on this day have one thing in common: They’re all Longhorns.
They are all participating in the sixth annual Weis Cup that is being held this weekend at the Texas Golf Club. The Weis Cup is a tournament between the current Texas squad and a group of former alumni, including LPGA Tour players, future Tour players, former all-Americans and people that just love the game and their school.
The tournament is dedicated to former Longhorn head coach Pat Weis, who established the program in 1969 as a club team and served as coach until 1993, while playing a prominent role four years later in earning the program Division 1 status.
“We had nothing, started out with nothing. We were just a little family building out program, happier than the kids out there today,” Weis said.
Despite starting out with little, she managed to carve a successful career highlighted by leading the team to 11 top 10 national finishes and earning coach of the year honors in 1987 and 1988.
However, the impact of Weis stretches well beyond the 18 holes of the course. She has left a lifelong impression on her former players, and they come back in flocks during the reunion to catch up.
“[It’s] a tribute to coach, school and program to get the number turnout we do. Other schools have a hard time getting the numbers for reunions that we do,” said Kate Golden, assistant coach and a former Longhorn.
The large turnout that this weekend’s event gets makes a great atmosphere, and there is new blood at the tournament every year.
“There are two or three people coming back for the first time since the ’80s. It’s a surprise every year who will show up. We have pretty much covered the years I was there and even into [former Texas coach Susan] Watkins’ years,” Weis said.
This unity and feeling of Texas pride expressed from the alumni is what helps make this tournament as fun and entertaining as it is to all of the participants, including the current Longhorns.
“Their participation shows how much they want this program to succeed. It’s good to know that there is a group of individuals that knows what we’re doing. It’s great to have their support,” said sophomore Katelyn Sepmoree.
The feelings of good will only last for so long. When they step out on the tee box, it becomes a competition.
“The play gets really competitive. There is a lot of needling and jabbing. It’s definitely a sporting event,” Golden said.
For the players, the tournament isn’t all seriousness. Part of the tournament is the slightly looser atmosphere it presents as compared to the stress level of a Big 12 competition.
“We got to talk smack — don’t usually get to do that on a golf course. Although I don’t want all tournaments to be like that, but it was fun for this particular atmosphere,” Sepmoree said.
This tournament has been very competitive since its installment and even ended in a tie last year, although the final score of the competition has been a little one-sided.
“The youngsters have only beaten us one time, but they are getting closer,” Weis said.
No matter the final total, the tournament is an excellent way for people to catch up or create new friendships.
“It’s a really good thing we do,” Weis said. “I know how much the players love coming back to see each other and renewing the companionships they had years ago.”