Exponential student: Women’s golfer Mary Kate Hiller
The PGA Championship isn't the only golf news in Charlotte these days. The Charlotte 49ers women's golf team is gearing up for its debut this fall.
As the University’s 18th varsity sport, women’s golf was added as a result of the establishment of the men’s football program in 2013 and provides yet another enhancement to the UNC Charlotte experience.
Mary Kate Hiller, a freshman from Florida, said the program offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity that she could not pass up.
“I was interested in UNC Charlotte when they announced that they were going to have their first women's golf team,” said Hiller, who plans to major in accounting. “I think it's an awesome opportunity to be a part of a pilot golf program and to be able to set the standard for women’s golf at UNC Charlotte.”
Head coach Holly Clark is excited about the opportunity to launch a program in Charlotte. With ideal golfing weather and signature courses at Pinehurst, Quail Hollow and Hilton Head, the Carolinas have become something of a golfing mecca.
“This is the perfect area,” Clark said. “This area is so good for golf in general. We have 25 golf courses in a 30-mile radius of this campus. And they’re not just any golf courses; they’re incredible.”
This is the second program Clark, a former Vanderbilt associate head coach, has launched from scratch after doing so at Carson-Newman University in 2008 with impressive results.
In her first year with the startup Eagles, Clark guided Carson-Newman to the 2009 South Atlantic Conference Championship and had an individual earn trip to the NCAA Regionals. In year two, the Eagles team qualified for the NCAA Regionals.
Now, she will lead Hiller and the rest of the 49ers’ first women’s golf team as they start a new tradition on campus with dreams of making Charlotte a women’s college golf destination.
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