By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
There are a lot of sports that Providence College could add, but the first one that comes to mind is a men’s and women’s golf team. Providence had a men’s golf team that was eliminated in 2002, which followed the removal of the men’s baseball team due to compliance with Title IX.
The men’s golf team dates back to 1932 when Waldo Martin coached the team. However, it was quickly dropped in 1935 due to a lack of interest from students. The men’s golf team was brought back by Joe Prisco ’49 who started the club golf team during his studies at the College in 1947. Prisco came back to PC as a business professor in 1953 and restarted the club golf program once again before it was elevated to the Division I level in 1960. Prior to Prisco retiring in 2012, he accumulated a 403-119-1 record while leading the team to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and 16 individuals to the NCAA Championship. Prisco also won two Big East Titles and eight NCAA Division I Coach of the Year awards during his 42-year coaching career at PC. Prisco would go on to coach the club team from 2002-2012.
The men’s team has a storied tradition that dates back to the 1930s. To put that into perspective, the men’s basketball and hockey teams’ inaugural seasons were in 1926. A lot of Title IX was not just about equal numbers of men’s to women’s sports, but it concerned the amount of scholarships that could be offered. Some Division I teams such as Boston College have as few as eight men’s players (six women) while other powerhouse schools such as the University of Texas at Austin have 12 players on the men’s team and nine on the women’s. According to nextgengolf.org, the University of Tulsa cut their golf team which is expected to save them $520,000 dollars.
Now, the College may have to pay more or may have to pay less but that’s a ballpark price.
Currently, the Friars in their club format hold a lot of talent on the roster. They compete with teams throughout the country in the National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA). Friars are the no. 1 team in New England and are ranked no. 49 in the country from the poll last Spring. Last May, the Friars competed for the National Championship in St. Louis. The Friars finished in 11th place out of 28 teams in the field. These 28 teams are some of the best in the country and the Friars finished higher than teams such as Florida State University, Arizona State University, Michigan State University, and Maryland University. From the undergraduate enrollment of each of these schools, they outnumber Providence College 4.5x to 1. For a school of 4,306 undergraduates, the Friars are competing with much larger schools. Why not try and take a dip into a sport where we have had success?