4th Annual Birdies & Brunch
Tuesday, September 19th at Maple Chase Golf and Country Club
Thank You to our Sponsors!
Women Get it Done at the 2nd Annual Birdies & Brunch
Celebrating Title IX and Women’s Golf
Crosby Scholars’ 2nd annual Birdies & Brunch provided an early preview to the 50-year anniversary of Title IX’s prohibition of sexual discrimination, thanks to a discussion between Dianne Dailey, Wake Forest University’s women’s golf coach who retired in 2018, and Kim Lewellen, the current WFU women’s golf coach.
The two coaches share mutual respect and friendship, and they discussed changes and progress they’ve experienced in women’s sports overall ― and women’s golf in particular.
Last year, Lewellen was named National Coach of the Year and has been named ACC Coach of the Year four times.
“The program is in such great hands,” Dailey said.
Lewellen said the golf program has come a long way in the 50 years since Title IX passed. WFU has six full women’s golf scholarships and has players from as far away as Switzerland, Spain, Ireland and Thailand as well as North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey and Chicago. Three of the four top WFU players are ranked 23 or higher in the world.
Progress in women’s athletics over the years “allows our women to take what they love to do and travel and make a career of it,” she said. “It’s the reason I wanted Dianne here with me. She’s a Hall of Famer. Not only is she someone that we all have looked up to who has helped grow the game and grow student athletes and women in the sport, she also had some great mentors who did the same thing.”
For Dailey, what’s most important is “how far women have come with learning the values of sports.”
“That was the one thing I always talked about when I first got there: sports can teach you so much,” she said. “They can teach life skills you need to be successful. Why would we reserve that just for men? So let’s get out there, and let’s teach these students about discipline and hard work and focus and time management and all these things that can help them be successful in careers and business.”
Dailey has enjoyed the opportunity to “not only watch the program, but those students grow to go on and be successful young women. Sport is such a great teacher of confidence. I’m so happy we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX.”
When Dailey came to WFU in 1988, the university had one full-time head coach―for basketball. The other teams were coached by assistant coaches with the men as the Director of that sport. The five original women’s sports teams – field hockey, volleyball, basketball, tennis and golf―were coached by 2 coaches. One coach had 4 teams and the women’s athletic director coached golf. . Women’s teams shared jerseys, and 25 to 30 athletes played all the sports.
“They got it started,” Dailey said. “They built that foundation for us.”
When Title IX passed in 1972, most athletic directors didn’t pay much attention, she said, and a Senator from Texas even tried to exempt athletics from Title IX. Women’s college athletics were run by an association of physical education teachers. Gladys Palmer, who was chairperson of the women’s division of Physical Education at Ohio State University, organized the first women’s golf championship in 1941.
It wasn’t until 1988 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act that things began to change. “A women’s basketball coach at Howard University sued for equal pay—and she won, and for first time in a Title IX suit the judge awarded damages,” Dailey said.
Dailey arrived at WFU in 1988 and remembers it as a watershed year, as athletic directors built facilities and added women’s sports.
“Anne Marie (Goslak, now a member of LPGA and PGA and founding Executive Director of First Tee of the Triad) was on the first team,” Dailey said. “The first semester we didn’t have a practice facility. We would hit on the soccer field, outside the lines, over the fences―and pick up balls before the soccer team practiced.”
WFU built a golf complex and the Haddock House, but Dailey didn’t have a key, so she couldn’t show it to recruits on the weekends. The players had just four shirts, four shorts, one sweater, one rain suit, golf balls and a bag. Players provided their own clubs and shoes—and golf pants.
“I never knew how many different shades of khaki there are,” Dailey said, and before a tournament at Hilton Head, the team stopped at The Gap at Tanger Outlet to make sure their pants would match. During the week-long NCAA tournaments, Dailey did laundry at night because the players only had four sets of uniforms.
“It really has come a long way,” she said. “Now we have a wonderful practice facility for both men and women, and we all have assistants.”
The Arnold Palmer Golf Complex opened in the spring of 2010, and includes the Haddock House, the Haas Family Range and the Dianne Dailey Golf Learning Center.
“It is the nicest practice facility in the country,” Dailey said, adding with a laugh, “We have people to pick up balls for us.”