Last year, it was a big surprise to science teacher Rich Calhoun and his wife, math teacher Kate Calhoun, that Deerfield did not have a girls’ golf team, but had two co-ed teams instead. They learned about this from Grace Murphy ’11, who lived on their hall and was trying out for the team. Upon hearing about this, the Calhouns offered to support Grace and her twin sister Caitlin Murphy ’11 in starting a girls’ team for the first time in Deerfield history.
Last year, Grace and Caitlin both played on the co-ed JV golf team, but, like many female golfers, did not score low enough to beat out the guys. As a result, they were only able to practice with the team and could not compete in matches. Being unable to compete against girls’ teams at other schools is why starting this team is so important to the Murphy twins.
Grace told the Calhouns about her idea and said, “Mr. Calhoun really encouraged Mr. Davis, the athletic director, to create a girls’ team. Also, Mrs. Calhoun is on the Athletic Committee, so she pushed for the idea at their meetings. Without their support none of this could have been possible.” Now, with signups occurring, they hope to get a good group of girls to fill the roster.
The girls’ portion of the team will practice and play at the same course as the boys’ team, Crumpin-Fox Club, which is just over twenty minutes from our campus. They will play nine holes during practice four days a week, and on the other day they will play a match against a girls’ team from an opposing school. The schools that already have girls’ golf teams are Taft, Andover, Choate Rosemary Hall, Lawrenceville, Hotchkiss, Loomis Chaffee, Williston, and Miss Porter’s. “If all these schools can have girls’ golf teams,” Grace wondered, “why can’t Deerfield?”
The current golf coaches are Nicholas Alberston (varsity) and Jeffrey Armes (jv). “Mr. Armes will be more involved in the girls’ team because we are going to be considered a jv team,” said Grace. Girls with exceptional skill, such as Izzy Marley ’11, can still be considered for varsity.
Grace and Caitlin showed their interest to Mr. Davis by writing a letter to him this summer. Their letter stressed the importance of gender equality and equal opportunities for girls, and even calculated the additional costs of the team. Grace and Caitlin believe that the team will be “a great way to get more girls involved in golf at Deerfield.”