Release courtesy of Earlham College
RICHMOND, IN – Men's and women's golf are coming to Earlham College through an exciting new partnership with Forest Hills Country Club.
Both teams will compete in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), with the first women's season beginning in the fall of 2016 followed by the inaugural men's season in spring 2017.
"Golf is a great addition to our campus and a sign of our ongoing commitment to investing in the student-athlete experience," Director of Athletics Mike Bergum said. "We are grateful for the support from the Forest Hills Country Club and excited to cultivate a new partnership with one of the finest country clubs in the state."
The golf teams, the 17th and 18th varsity sports on campus, will practice and play home tournaments at Forest Hills Country Club, a two-time host of the Indiana Open. The club is located just four miles southeast of campus.
Jeff Martin, manager of Forest Hills Country Club, states "Earlham is without question the premier place in higher education in East Central Indiana, and Forest Hills Country Club has the same reputation in the golf industry," Martin said." "Our commitment to quality golf course conditions, a professional golf staff, and beautiful surroundings will without question help Earlham recruit and establish a quality golf program for many years to come."
Martin also pointed out the connection and importance both Earlham and Forest Hills Country Club have on the region.
"Both Earlham and Forest Hills have deep, well respected roots within the region," Martin said. "Having the opportunity to be the home course for the Earlham College men's and women's golf teams will only deepen that respect and further both of our commitments to this area."
This will mark the first time in Earlham's history that the College has sponsored women's golf at the varsity level. Men's golf returns as a varsity sport for the first time since 1993.
Vince Punzo, professor of psychology and faculty athletic representative at Earlham, states "Recent years have shown a tremendous surge of interest and participation in golf by the current generation of students. The addition of golf at the varsity level is a low cost way of expanding sports options at Earlham and allowing our student-athletes the opportunity to participate in an increasingly popular activity."
According to Bergum, a national search to find a head coach has already begun.
"It is the department's goal to have a coached named by the end of October," Bergum stated. "The immediate focus of the new coach will be to recruit student-athletes in order to compile both men's and a women's roster for the 2016-17 academic year."