- Golfer Benefits
SCITUATE, Massachusetts – When Scituate High School junior Sarah Spires and her teammates hit their first tee shots in their team’s inaugural match at Cohasset Golf Club earlier this month, it was the culmination of roughly 2.5 years to make that moment happen. When Spires entered high school in 2019, there was no girls varsity golf team, and she wanted the chance to compete with other girls at an interscholastic level.
“I think the main motivating factor was just to make something for myself and for the rest of the girls’ community at the high school,” said Spires, student-athlete and one of the founders of the program. “I thought it was a really good idea just to get a lot of girls involved and just make a bigger community.”
After years of fundraising and work behind the scenes to start a club program and create a sustainable model going forward, the team was set to become a varsity sport in 2022. However, due to timing, the funding for the program missed being included in the school’s budget for the year. The young women would have to go back to fundraising if they wanted to compete as a varsity program in the spring.
“The girls worked hard to do various fundraisers and got some direct donations,” said Kim Spires, mother of two student-athletes (Sarah and Abby Spires) on the team. “They had lemonade stands quite often on men’s and ladies nights here at Widow’s Walk. Throughout the summer, they would come and they would sell lemonade and snicker’s bars for $1 each and little by little they socked away money.”
Inspired by the team’s dedication, Mass Golf stepped in with a sizable donation to the school’s golf program so the young women could have the inaugural season they had been fighting so long to obtain.
“As this was presented to us we felt this was an opportunity, and quite frankly an obligation, to support the young up and comers in the game and to support the future of the game, and we felt this is a no-brainer from a Mass Golf standpoint,” said Jesse Menachem, Executive Director/CEO of Mass Golf.
“We were short on funding this year, and Mass Golf came in and paved the way for us and helped us make that happen,” Kim Spires added. “Without Mass Golf we wouldn’t be here today. There would not be a Scituate girls varsity team, and we’re just so grateful and we’re excited to grow the sport alongside them.”
The effort to support the Scituate girls golf team is thanks in part to the former Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts (WGAM), which merged with the Massachusetts Golf Association in 2018 to form Mass Golf. As part of the merger, the WGAM had a legacy fund that was set up to be used to support and promote participation of women and girls in golf.
“As one state Golf Association, we now have the opportunity and obligation to support many of the traditions and history of the WGAM, one of which was a fund that supported youth golf and girls golf, whether they play as individuals or as teams,” Menachem said. “At Scituate High School, this was a tremendous opportunity for us to continue with that momentum and allow for these girls to have an opportunity to play throughout the state and to compete and represent the high school short and long term.”
Word has spread quickly, and other communities have also taken notice of how Scituate has grown its program.
“I’ve had community members from other towns call me and say ‘our town doesn’t have a girls golf team, what do I need to do?’ Kim Spires said. “I’ve been working with them. I lay out the plan that we had to do in order to make it happen.”
This new opportunity for young women in Scituate to play golf is more than just a game according to Kim Spires. “This girls golf team isn’t just about the sport of golf. There’s so much more that goes with it. They’re building confidence that’s going to support them in the future.”
SCITUATE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS GOLF 2022 ROSTER
Madison Buckell, Kara DeLong, Brenna Donovan, Erin Gibbons, Piper Lewis, Caroline Mahoney, Abigail McMellen (captain), Shea Neri, Kolina Nugent, Maeve O’Connor, Mirah Palmer, Tristan Rothwell, Rylie Standridge, Abigail Spires (captain), Sarah Spires (captain), Mary Stevenson, Charlotte Wiggs; Nikki Custenborder (Head Coach), Ken Camerota (Assistant Coach).