The girls’ golf team made history this season even before picking up their clubs, or setting foot on the grass.
For the first time in the sport’s roughly 15-year history at the high school, the girls’ team has enough players to actually form its own team, separate from the boys, district officials said.
“Girls golf is kind of unique,” Hatboro-Horsham Athletic Director Lou James said. “You need four golfers in order to make a team. We have six. In our conference, only Quakertown has a complete team this year.”
Now, the challenge is finding enough matches for the girls to compete in, James said.
“We need to play nine matches in order to be considered for district play and state play,” he said.
By comparison, last year two girls comprised the high school’s girls’ golf team. Without a full team makeup, the players were unable to compete as a team. Instead, one of the female golfers competed as an individual in district play, James said.
Glenn Kaiser, the girls’ golf head coach, said the team has struggled the last couple years because “we’ve been a young team.”
With a full girls team, Kaiser said the players would have more opportunities to grow, build upon their strengths and, perhaps most importantly, play against other girls. In seasons past, Kaiser said the girls competed against the boys’ junior varsity players.
“When the girls are playing against girls, the pressure is gone,” Kaiser said.
Hatboro-Horsham senior Emily Haas, the team’s captain, has been with the team for the last four years. As such, Emily said she’s gotten used to the nuances of being one of few female faces in a sea of boys.
“I didn’t mind playing with them,” Emily said, while practicing her putting at the Hatters’ home golf turf, Talamore Country Club. “It’s not that difficult. I’m used to being the only girl.”
Kaiser shared similar sentiments about Hatboro-Horsham alum and golf standout Dayna Burleigh.
“She was the best girls' golfer, the best boys' golfer, the best golfer all around,” Kaiser said. “She really set the standard not only for girls’ golf, but for golf at Hatboro-Horsham.”
Athletic feats aside, Hatboro-Horsham junior Lisa Falcone - who has played with the golf team for three years - said she’s looking forward to playing less intimidating matches, all while lowering her score.
“I go out there, do my best. Whatever happens, happens,” Lisa said, adding that she feels more comfortable competing against other girls. “I feel a little more included. That’s a good thing.”