Cougars tee off women’s golf program
UH adds women’s golf to its list of intercollegiate sports for the 2013-2014 season. It’s the first addition to the University’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics in more than 10 years.
Recruits Kelli Rollo and Emily Gilbreth, both high school seniors, will be the first women’s golf competitors. Rollo and Gilbreth were the right ones to build the foundation for the program, head coach Jonathan Dismuke said.
“(It was) tough to get anyone signed up for something that isn’t that tangible,” Dismuke said. “We’re proud of the girls that we’ve selected.”
Rollo and Gilbreth each have a list of achievements to accompany them once they start at UH.
Rollo, a senior at Barbers Hill High School, has led her team to numerous victories, including three tournament wins on the Junior Tour during the summer and a title at Redstone Golf Club, home of the Cougar Golf program. As the season approaches, Rollo looks forward to the doors college sports will open for her and the experiences she will gain from golf and academics.
“I’m excited to play at the collegiate level,” Rollo said. “I’ll get to meet a lot of new people who are serious about the sport. I’ve been practicing every day. I meet with my golf instructor twice a week and go to weekly invitationals.”
Gilbreth, a senior at Bellaire High School, has her share of accomplishments to bring to UH. She won the Class 5A Region III Championship and the IJGT Dupage Classic.
Rollo feels good about the two being the front-runners of the program.
“(Gilbreth) is great,” Rollo said. “She’s really nice, and has been playing for a really long time.”
The addition of women’s golf to the University’s roster of intercollegiate sports allows UH an opportunity for more competition in other sports.
The thought of having women join the golf program has been in place for a while now,Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said.
“When we built the big Willliams Academy, we had women’s golf in mind,” Rhoades said. “We really thought we needed to add a women’s sport, and golf was the best choice.”
The Dave Williams Golf Academy is located at Redstone Golf Club, making UH the only school in Texas that has a golf course that holds an annual PGA Tour event. As the program expands, more coaches and athletes will be brought in. An associate coach will start June 1, and a minimum of five girls will be competing in the 2014-2015 season.
The kick-off year for the new program will allow everyone to see what these new recruits have to bring to the table. The level of competition these ladies will face will assist them in maturing their talents and get them ready individually and collectively for team competitions in the future. Dismuke’s anticipation for what’s to come includes his new recruits having the chance to get their feet wet.
“I’m looking forward to getting our players some experience,” Dismuke said. “(The upcoming season will) give them (a) year to experience college golf.”