Dartmouth the latest school to cut golf teams from athletic department

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The college golf landscape will look different next spring.

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The effect of the coronavirus on college golf continued Thursday with Dartmouth College cutting the men’s and women’s golf teams from its athletics department. 

The move comes about six weeks after Brown University cut its men’s and women’s golf teams, and as the Ivy League announced it would not host fall sports in 2020. Considering other similar statements across the country, it is increasingly plausible other golf programs are in danger as well.

Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon discussed the decision as part of an enrollment/admissions decision, eliminating 10 percent of recruited athletes from incoming classes. Golf was joined by men’s and women’s swimming and diving as well as men’s lightweight rowing. In total, 110 student-athletes were on those teams.

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As striking as the decision may be, the Dartmouth golf teams were already limited in their facilities this year. Hanover Country Club, a semi-private course owned by the college, was closed in late April for the remainder of 2020. As a course that has been on the brink of shutting down in the past, it doesn’t bode well for golf at Dartmouth to exist in the future.

But is Dartmouth a sign of things to come for golf teams across the country? It’s a bit too early to say. 

Both men’s and women’s college golf, while having fall seasons, do not host championship competition until the spring. The various athletics cuts happening at universities across the country could very well extend into golf. Stanford, one of the best golf programs in the country — both men’s and women’s — decided to maintain its golf programs while cutting 11 others. The men’s golf team at the University of Akron was not spared the same fate as its program was eliminated back in May. 

Sean Zak

Golf.com Editor

Zak is a writer at GOLF Magazine and just finished a book about the summer he spent in St. Andrews.