Last year there was just one female player on the Deerfield golf team. This year, both Kimberly Stafford ’19, who is currently the fourth seed on varsity, and Katherine Goguen ’16, who plays on junior jarsity, have joined the team.
Both girls have been playing golf since they were toddlers; Stafford plays year-round in tournaments, while Goguen plays in the summer with her brothers. This year, Goguen played golf instead of lacrosse because of four recent concussions, two of which were from sustained from ice hockey.
“Some of [the boys] have been our closest friends this season,” Goguen said. Considering that golf at Deerfield has traditionally been a male-dominated (if not a male-only) sports team, Goguen “was actually shocked at how welcoming [the boys] were, and how comfortable” they made the female athletes feel.
Stafford is used to playing with the opposite sex: “I grew up playing with all boys, but at the end of the day, it’s your game, and you have to focus on what you’re doing. It doesn’t really matter what other people are doing.”
Although the boys on the team were very friendly, the girls originally did not receive respect from their male opponents. Describing her experience at one of the matches, Goguen said, “I have only played against boys this year. When we did introductions, I barely got eye contact when they went to shake my hand.”
Lowell Weil ’18, who currently plays number-two seed on varsity, has enjoyed having Stafford join the team. He believes her presence has had a positive impact on the group. “At the beginning of the year, it was definitely a change in atmosphere… The Deerfield golf team is historically an all guys team, but right away [Stafford] fit in really well. It was not awkward at all,” he said. He added, “She has earned her respect this year playing No. 4. She has consistently contributed to our matches and to a lot of our success. We are all grateful for that.”
Goguen has also noticed the love and respect for the game shared by players on the golf team: “I definitely think it’s interesting when we go to play other schools,” she said, “I think we are very respectful, and we care about the rules. And I don’t think anyone on our team would jeopardize that, because everyone knows we are representing Deerfield and your honesty is a huge part of golf.”
Stafford looks forward to future seasons playing for the green and white, and Goguen was happy to spend her last season at Deerfield with the golf team. She explained how her teammates made a lasting impact on her, saying, “the guys on the team have made playing golf worth it… I [didn’t] leave a practice without laughing. They’re really awesome.”