The William Smith College Department of Athletics will sponsor Division III golf beginning with the 2003-04 academic year, Director of Athletics Susan Bassett announced today.
“I’m delighted that William Smith College is creating this opportunity for our students,” Bassett said. “It will be exciting to see the Herons compete with the more than 130 Division III golf programs. We’re looking forward to building the program.”
The sport marks the Colleges’ first addition to its intercollegiate athletics program since the Herons added squash during the 1997-98 academic year. Including golf, William Smith sponsors 11 intercollegiate varsity programs: basketball, crew, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, sailing, soccer, squash, swimming and diving, and tennis.
William Smith is in negotiations with Clifton Springs Country Club to call the local course home. The 18-hole, par 72 (par 71 for men) is also the home of the Hobart golf team.
The Herons will begin an immediate search for a head coach. William Smith will play a limited schedule during the 2003-04 academic year with an eye on expanding the schedule as the program grows.
Bassett also said the William Smith Athletics Department is proud to foster the growth of this emerging sport for young women. Last year, 442 women’s golf teams competed at NCAA institutions, including 136 Division III programs. The Herons and Vassar College, which is also starting a women’s golf team this fall, will join five other Division III women’s golf teams in New York State: Cortland State University, Elmira College, Nazareth College, Plattsburgh State University, St. Lawrence University. According to the National Golf Foundation, 1.5 million girls (5-17) played golf or visited a golf practice facility last year.