Gold thin films industrial relevant applications include the ubiquitous USB electrical connection. Despite this, the structural stability is still poorly understood, which is evident in the range of microstructural evolutions that have been experimentally observed. This work utilizes in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) heating experiments, precession electron diffraction (PED), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to characterize the initial and final structures, as well as to directly observe the evolution as a function of temperature. The information on local texture, grain boundary character, grain boundary grooving, and structural kinetics is directly incorporated into a phase field model to better understand the interplay of effects. This work was partially supported by the Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy. Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.