Brenau University (Ga.) has announced that it will expand its athletics program with the addition of women's golf, which will begin competition as a varsity sport in the fall of 2013.
Mike Lochstampfor, athletics director at Brenau University, is in the process of interviewing candidates for the new head coach position, and the university has begun recruiting student-athletes. Lochstampfor noted that golf was a good choice for Brenau.
"It is a sport that is becoming increasingly popular on the national level, especially among young women," Lochstampfor said. And, it's always exciting to bring in a new sport, the athletes that play the sport, and the culture that comes with it. I believe it will be a great fit for Brenau, and I have no doubt that it will be as successful as the rest of our sports."
Currently, Brenau sponsors nine varsity athletics teams- seven of which have been ranked nationally.
Golf will become the tenth varsity sport for the Golden Tigers, balancing the athletics opportunities offered within each competitive season. Brenau already fields teams in soccer, cross country and volleyball in the fall, with basketball, swimming and cheerleading in the winter, and tennis, track and field and softball in the spring. Though the team will play in the fall, the majority of the schedule will be played in the spring. All Brenau teams compete in the NAIA.
There are 148 women's golf programs in the NAIA and more than 600,000 female junior golfers (ages 6 - 17) in the United States. Within the Southern States Athletic Conference, of which Brenau is a member, only nine schools participate in women's golf: Truett-McConnell College, Emmanuel College, and Coastal Georgia University in the state of Georgia; Faulkner University, University of Mobile, Spring Hill College, Lee University, William Carey University, and Loyola University in surrounding southern states.
Although Brenau traditionally draws heavily from Georgia, Lochstampfor said Brenau will vigorously recruit qualified student-athletes in other parts of the country as well as internationally, where Brenau has had considerable success in attracting blue-chip student-athletes in other sports.
Surrounded by 10 golf courses, Brenau is uniquely situated to be able to attract some strong local talent. Additionally, the proximity to these courses will allow team members the opportunity to play and practice virtually in Brenau's backyard.
Lochstampfor anticipates that the golf team will start with six to eight student-athletes its first year. The number of scholarships -- and the level of aid that will be available -- has not been determined yet, but he said it would be consistent with the scholarships awarded on other teams of its size.
Any potential recruits interested in being part of this new program may contact Mike Lochstampfor, athletics director at Brenau University, at 770-534-6231 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.