Career comes full circle for new ASU women's golf assistant coach

Michelle Estill has returned to ASU women's golf as a coach alongside her former teammate

There are two words ASU women's golf assistant coach Michelle Estill lives by: giving back.

A former member of the ASU women's golf team, Estill recently accepted a position in November to become the new assistant coach, and the decision is already paying dividends for the program. 

“When this opportunity came up at this stage, it was a perfect opportunity to give back and allow another student-athlete to have the opportunity that I had,” Estill said. “If it hadn’t been for women’s golf, I would have never been able to afford to go to school, so I feel blessed and it’s fun to be able to give back.”

It turns out Estill's connection with Missy Farr-Kaye, the ASU women's golf head coach, runs deeper than it may appear on the surface. The two were teammates on the women’s golf team under then-head coach Linda Vollstedt, who now serves as the director of marketing and promotions for Sun Devil golf. Estill was the 1986 NCAA Championship runner-up for the Sun Devils before graduating in 1989. 

Estill and coach Farr-Kaye met up at an ASU football game during the fall, when Farr-Kaye first mentioned to Estill she was searching for an assistant coach. 

“About a week later I texted her and I said, ‘Would you consider even thinking about it, this job?’” Farr-Kaye said. “And she said, ‘Yeah, actually I would.’ (I) was just so excited because Michelle has a set of skills that not many coaches, assistant or head coach have.” 

Estill comes from a distinguished history in the world of golf, not only being on the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association Tour for 17 years but also working with PING on the business side of golf. 

Farr-Kaye said she was looking for someone she could trust as an ideal candidate for the position of women’s golf assistant coach. 

“I trust Michelle implicitly and … we’re like-minded individuals,” Farr-Kaye said. “She is a highly-organized person.”

Estill said she wants every student-athlete to enjoy the best four-year collegiate experience possible, just like she did. 

“It’s such a great time of your life,” Estill said. “When I look back and think of all the opportunities that were given to me … I want to be able to give them the tools and resources, the support, so that they can go on and be great at whatever they choose to do.”

Estill also credits her professional success in part to her time at ASU.

“I wouldn’t have gone on to play professional golf,” Estill said. “I would not be as successful as I’ve been at my other jobs if it had not been for my time here, so that really drives me.”

Sophomore women’s golfer Madison Kerley said she first met Estill this past December, when Farr-Kaye held a team meeting to get to know their new assistant coach. 

“I think the first meeting, she was kind of shy, like a little more quiet but excited to be on board, but now her full personality has come out,” Kerley said. 

Kerley said the team now feels a bit more complete with the addition of Estill to the women’s golf coaching staff. 

“We’ve always been really close, like family,” Kerley said. “But now that we have Michelle as an assistant coach … we know we’re no longer searching. We have everything that were supposed to.”

Kerley said coach Farr-Kaye had many responsibilities for the team and the University during the fall, but with Estill now on the team, that starts to settle things down.

“I think what makes her unique is the amount of experience she’s able to provide,” Kerley said. “Since she has so much, she’s able to use it to coach us.”

Currently, there are no plans to hire any other coaches to the ASU women’s golf program. 

“I see us working together for a long time,” Farr-Kaye said.


Reach the reporter at michael.baron@asu.edu or follow @Michael_Baron96 on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.