Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, CA – Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of Athletics Robert Coleman announced this morning that women's golf is being added as the College's 22nd intercollegiate athletic program.
"We are really excited about the inclusion of women's golf to our athletic program. We felt it was a very important equity move in our department now giving the Poets' 11 men's and 11 women's sports, and, more importantly, it is consistent with the College's enrollment goals."
Women have competed in golf throughout Whittier College's rich one hundred plus years of intercollegiate athletics, including Marnie Lord in the 1940's and Gladys Satterfield '52. Perhaps the best known women golfer in Whittier College history was Gail Hirata-Chaffin '77. An excerpt from the LPGA website states that "a limited amateur career did not prevent Hirata from joining the men's golf team at Whittier College. She played there for three years and was named MVP and captain in 1977." Gail joined the LPGA tour in 1979, and in 1982 she enjoyed her most successful season, ranking 53rd on the money list.
Women's golf enters the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) for the first time, and will join California Lutheran University, Claremont Mudd-Scripps, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer and the University of Redlands with the chance to play for a SCIAC championship and an opportunity to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA Championships.
Rob Coleman stated that "we already have some skilled players on campus and our recruitment for student-athletes with Coach King will continue throughout the fall season. We will look to compete at a high level immediately."
The women's program will now join a men's program that concluded the 2012 season ranked No. 25 in Division III, and both squads will conduct practices at Candlewood Country Club and Industry Hills Golf Club during the fall and spring seasons.