Teeing Up Success

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Women’s Golf Becomes 17th Sport

Georgia Southern launched its 17th varsity athletics program, when the women’s golf program teed it up at the Furman Lady Paladin Invitational last fall, marking both the culmination of the hard work needed to get a Division I program started and the beginning of a new journey aimed to emulate the storied tradition and success of Georgia Southern golf.

Two years ago Georgia Southern announced it would start the program shortly after moving to NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and into the Sun Belt Conference. Coach Emily Kuhfeld was hired in the summer of 2014 and began recruiting the inaugural roster, crafting a schedule and hiring a staff.

“Our main emphasis [this first season] is our team culture and holding true to our values, and if we do that, then we’re going to hit our goals,” Kuhfeld said. “We’re definitely focused on what we can control in the moment and then seeing what happens, but I feel like if we can do that, then we have a really good chance to be successful.”

The success of the men’s program, the golf facilities at Georgia Southern, the location and the University itself, as well as a chance to build something, were all part of her recruiting pitch. “I have some friends in coaching who have started programs, and I have had the opportunity to pick their brains and get some ideas,” said Kuhfeld.

The Eagles put together an impressive first half of their inaugural season last fall. And Ariana Macioce finished fourth at the fall-season-ending Fighting Camel Fall Classic at Keith Hills Golf Club in Buies Creek, North Carolina, the program’s first top-5 finish in just their fourth tournament ever. The first season continues with five tournaments this spring as the team readies for the conference championship in Destin, Florida, in April.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” said Kuhfeld.

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