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Golfing girl power

Audrey Hua '26

Apr 14, 2023

For years, Mercersburg Academy’s golf program has earned respect for the experience and competition it offers; nevertheless, it was missing a crucial link – a girls’ team. That was until spring of last year, when eight groundbreaking girls stepped up to form the first official girls’ golf team. This means that this spring marks one year of girls golf at Mercersburg.

“We’ve been trying to form it since I got here,” Paul Sipes, co-director of athletics, said. “We started with a senior who really wanted to play competitive golf, then we got four more who could play on their own who were good.” 

Sipes continued, “It isn’t just about wanting to play; you have to be invested in getting better. You’ll see them hitting in the golf simulator during the winter, keeping their swing going, and they play in both the fall and the spring.”

The girls on the team have playing experience ranging from two to five years. Doug Smith, head golf coach, said, “They’re young; we’re still developing, and we’re not quite where we want to be yet. But talent-wise, it looks great, and I couldn’t ask for more in terms of comradery. In terms of competitiveness, we’re a little ahead of where I thought we’d be right now. We have a really solid group of girls.” Smith added, “Right now, on average, our two best are Sihyeon Bae and Amanda Xi, but the other girls are just a notch behind. That’s our strength – we might not have the number one score in matches, but we have good depth throughout the team.” 

Looking forward at the season, Smith said, “The top three events for the girls right now are MAPL Championships, Swing for Cancer at Peddie, and State Championships in the spring. I like to schedule games with a few that we know we’re gonna be strong in, some that are really close, and some that are aspirational.”

“What we’re looking at is adding competitive matches against schools in DC, and we could even host an invitational,” Sipes said.

With such a small team, the dynamic seems to be essential to maintaining good play. “The heart of the girl’s team is their character, their personality. They’re super fun, super eager, and willing to work,” Smith said. 

“The vibe is always good,” Sihyeon Bae ‘24 remarked. Abby Yang ‘25 added, “We’re like besties, we’re like a squad.”

Amanda Xi ‘25 said, “I think it was kind of the same last year. We were really close, and this year it’s a lot of the same people, so we kind of continued that friendship.” 

Kelsey Li ‘26 said her favorite thing about golf was simply, “Them.” Xi agreed, saying, “I like my team. I like practicing with the team, car rides with the team, and dubs with the team!”

Smith ended on a positive note, “The team builds itself. Being known as a positive team, that we’re fun, we’re good at winning… Well, people want to be a part of that.”

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