Courtesy of Yale Athletics

The Yale’s women’s golf team will tee off its season with three competitions in the South, beginning with the Columbia Classic in Melbourne, FL this weekend. 

After ending the fall season with a consistent presence at each tournament, the women’s team will open its spring season on Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Duran Golf Club. The Columbia Classic will end Monday, Feb. 14, but the Bulldogs will travel south again — to South Carolina and Tennessee — in the next month. In the fall, the Blue and White earned first-place during their opener at the Boston College Intercollegiate, placed fourth at the Princeton Invitational, tied for second at the Yale Invitational and finished sixth at the abbreviated St. John’s Invitational. The Columbia Classic will allow the team to move out of indoor work and play in weather warmer than New Haven’s frosty highs of 50 degrees. 

“I am excited to see how the courses and players will differ in the South,” rookie Daphne Chao ’25 said. “It is most definitely warmer down there right now, so weather wise I am glad that we are traveling south. That also entails that our travel times will be longer because we are playing tournaments further away from Connecticut, but I am looking forward to meeting new players and stepping foot onto courses I am not the most familiar with!”

In addition to three states in the South, the Bulldogs will travel to Rockville, Maryland to play the Hoya Invitational during the weekend of April 9 before capping off the season the two weeks later in Ringoes, New Jersey for the Ivy League Championship. Sophie Simon ’25 expressed her excitement at the opportunity to play at the Hoya Invitational, hosted by Georgetown, as it marks a return to her home course — Woodmont Country Club — and an opportunity for friends and family to support the Bulldogs.

Simon also echoed a goal raised by Chao to play with less stress this season. Meanwhile, Alexis Kim ’25 hopes to incorporate new elements into her mental game.

“This is my first northeast winter and one of my first times practicing only indoors for a long period of time,” Kim said. “We are all so excited to travel so that we can get back on the golf course and play at our first tournament of the season!”

While the squad is practicing indoors due to inclement weather, the Yale Golf Course is due for a renovation led by Gil Hanse. The course is expected to be closed for 22 to 24 months once restoration begins.

This spring will also present the first spring season for the sophomores and first years on the team, and the first complete season for juniors who did not experience complete competition during the second half of the 2019–20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bulldogs competed at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Kaneohe, Hawaii before other events were canceled.

“I am really excited about this weekend since we will get a chance to see a lot of the top schools in the country,” team captain Ami Gianchandani ’23 said. “All our tournaments are going to be pretty high level this spring.”

Both of Yale’s golf teams will end their seasons at the Ivy League Championship during the weekend of April 22.

Hamera Shabbir covers golf and fencing for the Sports desk and the School of the Environment for the Science and Technology desk. Originally from California's Central Valley, she is a sophomore in Branford College majoring in Environmental Studies.