Two freshmen look to jumpstart a women’s golf club at Lafayette

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Freshman Mimi Robertson (pictured) plans to turn her idea of having a Lafayette women’s club golf team into reality within the next year. (Photo courtesy of Mimi Robertson ’25)

Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

Patriot League schools Boston University, Bucknell, Lehigh and Navy have a women’s golf team. So far, Lafayette has not followed suit. Freshman Mimi Robertson would like to change this, and along with support from the men’s golf team, she aims to start up a women’s club golf team on campus.

“At dinner, we were just going back and forth about how we wanted to create a golf club,” Robertson said. “I actually didn’t even know that there wasn’t a women’s team. I played golf my whole life, and my parents said I should try out. About a month ago, I found out that there wasn’t even a women’s team.”

The implementation of Title IX has removed the physical barriers to women’s integration into traditionally male-dominated sports, however, the social and psychological barriers remain.

Title IX requires that women and men are provided equal opportunity to participate in sports, however, it does not require institutions to offer identical sports for men and women.

Lafayette has 22 Division I teams competing in the Patriot League. Aside from football and golf, each men’s team has a women’s team counterpart of the same sport.

Robertson and freshman Michael Bell of the men’s golf team agree that starting a women’s golf club would be a good start to eventually becoming one of the varsity teams. Robertson believes that starting up a club will allow them to raise their own money for the team.

“I think it’s definitely something that the men’s team would be happy to help with,” Bell said.

“[Bell] was so into it. He said that all of the guys always question why we don’t have one,” Robertson said. “It’s good to have that support.”

Over the course of the rest of the semester, Robertson plans to turn this idea into reality. She thinks that by the fall of the 2022-23 academic year, the club can actually start practicing.

Robertson plans to reach out to Student Government about making the club, make flyers, or draft an email she can send out to gauge interest over spring break.

“I definitely have to do a bit more planning and research,” Robertson said.

Bell said that previously when Lafayette tried to get a woman’s team going, they struggled going straight into Division I conference play.

“Since they didn’t have any recruits before, it’s really hard to recruit players that are up to the level of the conference,” Bell said. “You have to start from the bottom if you haven’t started the program for a while. Then once we have a solid enough club team to compete in the Patriot League, from there you can start the process.”

Having a golf team on campus would mean a lot to Robertson as the sport provided a way for her to bond with her family growing up.

“I live in New Jersey, but in the summers we have a house in the Poconos. It’s a little community, and there’s a golf course,” Robertson said. “We would stay at my grandfather’s house, and he played golf until he was ninety years old. He would always bring my siblings and me, and we just grew up playing golf with him.”

Robertson is not sure of the exact timeline of getting the club approved yet, but she is hopeful.

“I definitely want to do it before I graduate for sure,” she said. “I think it’d be something that I would personally benefit from, so I definitely have a personal motive, but also like kind of a community motivation as well.”