Throughout his 5½-year tenure as UW-Green Bay women’s golf coach, Lee Reinke has seen a few players come into the program and a few go. But Dick and Nancy Matschke, it seems, have always been there—following their granddaughter Courtney, a fourth-year junior from Franklin, and cheering for everyone in a Phoenix polo.
“On the road, they’d show up and it didn’t make a difference if it was Ohio, Nebraska, they’d always be there—any state,” Reinke said. They even showed up in Simpsonville, Ky., two years ago when George Kneiser—a member of the UWGB men’s golf team—qualified for the NCAA Division I regional to watch the Horizon League champion tee it up in what was a watershed moment for the Phoenix. “We’re walking down No. 8 and I go ‘Holy crap, George, look behind the green! I think that’s Dick and Nancy Matschke.’ Here they drove up from Florida just to watch him play.”There will be a significant void in the UWGB gallery Monday in Brookings, S.D., when Courtney Matschke and her teammates open the 2020-21 season at the South Dakota State Invitational. Dick Matschke won’t be there to cheer on the Phoenix contingent; he died Aug. 15 — “played his last mulligan” as his obituary put it — at the age of 81.
However, Dick Matschke will be there in spirit. As a surprise to Courtney, Reinke had pins ordered with a picture of her grandfather and they will adorn the UWGB golf bags as a way for those carrying them to remember someone who was looking forward to this season as they were.
“Sometimes, a major thing in your life can, short term, … really dictate how things go,” Reinke said. “I think Courtney is going to have a great fall; I really do. Even in qualifying, she’s been determined. It’s kind of hard to explain.”