The NCAA Div. 1 Women’s Golf Championships is growing. Here’s how and why

Three more women's teams will have a shot at the national championship in 2023.

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The NCAA is expanding the field for the D-I women’s golf national championship, raising the number of teams by three to 27.

The change will go into effect with the 2023 event, May 19-24 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., the NCAA said in a release Monday.

The release said the move was made to make the women’s championship more equitable to the men’s, with 10 percent of both men’s and women’s teams now advancing from regionals to the finals site. The field for the NCAA Men’s Championship field is 30 teams.

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The number of women’s regional tournaments will remain at six, which means three sites will send four teams to the national final and another three sites will now send five. The NCAA said its committee will use a strength-of-field metric for the six regional sites after the fields have been finalized to determine which sites will offer an additional spot in the national championship. The field size at each regional remains at 12 teams for a total of 72 teams qualifying for regionals.

“There is extreme importance in providing as many participation opportunities as possible for our student-athletes,” Bradford Hurlbut, director of athletics at Fairleigh Dickinson and chair of the Division I Women’s Golf Committee, said in the release. “With an additional three teams qualifying for the finals site, up to an additional 18 deserving women’s golf student-athletes will have an opportunity to compete in the national championship finals, which is an important step for the sport of women’s golf and the championship.” 

The national championship consists of a 72-hole stroke play competition, after which, the top 8 teams move to a single elimination match-play format to determine the national champion. The individual champion is determined by the lowest score by a player in the stroke-play portion.

Stanford took the title in 2022 by defeating Oregon in the finals, led by individual champion Rose Zhang.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.