Thompkins Finding Her Stride At Coker College

Thompkins Finding Her Stride At Coker College

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Every day is an opportunity to challenge yourself.  This is the mindset of Coker College sophomore Mallory Thompkins.

“I try to compete with other people as well as with myself,” said Thompkins, a member of the Coker women’s golf team. “Golf is a sport that enables you to become a better player every time you practice.”

This competition nonetheless runs directly into her academics, as Thompkins is an early childhood and elementary education double major who plans to lead her own classroom in the future. Thompkins’ passion for golf was a factor in her decision on where to attend college, and with the up-and-coming women’s program at Coker, the institution was a perfect fit.

Thompkins came to Coker from Georgetown High School, where she was all-region for two years, went to the state tournament five consecutive times, won the region tournament her senior year and was Toast to the Coast player of the year her junior and senior years. Sports have been a part of her life since she was young, and she began golfing in elementary school.

"Golf runs in my family,” said Thompkins. “My dad bought me a cheap set of golf clubs in sixth grade, and I’ve been practicing ever since.”

The opportunity to play golf was certainly intriguing, but Coker also offered Thompkins the intimate class sizes that she was looking for.

“I really like the fact that Coker’s structure allows for personal attention and the professors are easy to understand,” she said.

The Coker women’s golf program launched its inaugural season in fall 2010. Head coach Tommy Baker leads the group of six women, and he is assisted by Jim Lemke, a professor of political science and philosophy at Coker. The team competed in 10 tournaments this past season, having its best performance in a third-place finish at the Mount Olive Invitational.

“Coach Baker is great,” Thompkins said. “He’s laid back and knows when to give instruction and when to let us figure things out on our own. And coach Lemke works with us on the mental side of golf – he’s the best at helping the team remain calm when someone becomes frustrated on the course. Together they complement each other well as coaches.”

The women’s team has shown steady improvement since its inception, and Thompkins believes the best is yet to come.

“I feel that we have yet to tap into our full potential,” she said. “We have grown together and continue to push each other forward.  My hope is that by the time I am a junior, within the next two years, we will have a few trophies under our belt.”

Written by Halee Polson, Class of '13 - Marketing & Communications Intern

For more information, contact Chris Dougherty - 843.383.8018


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.