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A golfer’s perspective: Why isn’t my sport as important as yours?

By Erin Shriver
On October 17, 2012


Although I’ve played golf my whole life, I never really realized how much it wasn’t exactly appreciated until I came to college, and especially as a girl playing golf.

Many people look at golf as an activity, not a sport, but little do they know how much intense training of the body and of the mind is involved in such an “easy sport.”

When I first looked at Ottawa University in high school, I obviously jumped right onto their athletic site to see if they had a women’s golf team; I wanted to follow my dream of playing golf at the collegiate level. When I clicked on the link for the results the team had over the last few years, I was more than unimpressed.

So I decided to come to Ottawa and try to change around the program. I wanted to make the school known for their women’s golf team. I didn’t want another girl to go online to try to choose their college, and not be impressed with the women’s golf team.

Through my freshman year, I broke a school record. But did the women’s golf team get recognized? Did we get any fun t-shirts like the football team did when they won conference last year? No, we didn’t. Then at conference, the team got the lowest team score in school history. Did we get noticed again, other than a nice story on the athletic website? This last week, the women’s golf team got second place at their tournament to a Division 2 school by only 40 strokes. That’s pretty impressive.

So why don’t we get anything special like a trip to California like the football and soccer teams? Why do people come up to me and tell me that golf is easy or that it’s not really a sport? Why is it when I am in class and I tell my teacher that I am going to be missing class for a golf tournament do they give me a glare that says “I’m disappointed that you’re missing class, Erin.”

All I want is respect from my school and my professors; I just want my team to be recognized and appreciated for how much we have improved from years past. I want people to respect my coaches, who both coach two sports, and create as much time for us as possible.

I want to be able to go into the bookstore and see an assortment of Ottawa University Women’s Golf sweatshirts, and t-shirts; not an Ottawa University Golf shirt in size XXL only.

I don’t care if people come and watch the golf tournaments because quite frankly I think you’d be bored. I just want some respect and acceptance by my school. I want you to know that both the women and men’s golf teams work really hard to do what we do—we don’t just sit around and play putt-putt every day.

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