Women’s Golf Team on Par with Asian Solidarity

Jaisa Swasey, Staff Reporter

At a predominantly white institution, many of the women’s golf team members identify as Asian or Asian American. While the student demographic is over 70 percent white, this is a space in which women of color have taken up space. Golf is sport that has been most widely associated with middle aged white men, yet women of color have dominated its existence. 

Hannah Roh, a junior on the team, identifies as Korean-American. For Roh, being on a diverse team “has helped [her] find an environment where [she] can connect and relate with productivity.”

Kacey Godwin, another junior on the team, who identifies as Chinese-American, reflects on the team being predominantly Asian.

“This is honestly not something I notice all that much,” said Godwin. “My teammates are my family here at Whitman.”

Illustration by Maghan Waldau

Similarly, Roh finds that the team is important with respect to other aspects. “The team culture is rooted in the differences,variety, passion, curiosity and empathy,” said Roh.

Sophomore Jhunam Sidhu, an Indian-Canadian identifying player, believes that the majority of the Asian decent players on the team is “a very positive influence on team culture.” Having a group of women that resonates with similar struggles creates an unbreakable bond. “We are able to contribute different perspectives and opinions while being exposed to and given the opportunity to learn about different cultures,” said Sidhu.

Something to understand is that the term Asian is very broad, as all women that were interviewed stated. “It doesn’t quite capture all of the diversity within that classification,” said Sidhu.

“There is also no ‘Asian culture’ that we can all relate to because we are all different ‘types’ of Asian,” said Roh.

While the common thread of golf has brought these women together, there are more layers of community that enhance what is means to be a student athlete. “The beautiful mixture and collaboration of our distinctions creates our Phenomenal Team Dynamic, or PTD, which is one of our core philosophies regarding the team,” said Roh. “This healthy community and culture has been one of the best experiences in my life.”