Emory plans to launch a women’s golf program that will begin varsity play in Fall 2019. A non-varsity team will begin competing Fall 2018, Clyde Partin Senior Director of Athletics Michael Vienna said.

The varsity team will be the 10th women’s varsity sports team at Emory.

“[The idea] … hasn’t really officially been on the table for any great length of time, but it was certainly something that I contemplated very early in my tenure here,” Vienna said. “It seemed like a natural progression since we had men’s golf … and should have women’s golf. [We] certainly also want to make sure that we’re providing varsity athletic opportunities to our female student body.”

The women’s team will practice and participate in tournaments at the Smoke Rise Country Club golf course in Stone Mountain, Ga., the same venue used by the men’s golf team.

“[The teams] will have to work together a little bit because they’re going to be on the same course,” Vienna said. “I don’t think [the addition of women’s golf will] have a huge impact — no more than what our men’s and women’s tennis [teams] go through.”

Emory plans to begin searching for a coach in the next couple weeks, Vienna said. Once hired, the coach will recruit high school students for the 2019-2020 academic year and current Emory students for next semester’s non-varsity team, Vienna said.

Vienna introduced the varsity golf team in an April 26 email to students, urging Emory students with interest in playing on the non-varsity golf team to contact him or Senior Director of Athletics Joyce Jaleel.

Vienna said if enough women with “some true golf ability” express interest, the Athletics Department can support a couple tournaments in Fall 2018.

“There’s a chance that we may have a couple of students here already that would be very good golfers and could be very competitive on a varsity team if we had varsity golf right now,” Vienna said.

Vienna added that there are currently no plans to create any other sports teams. Emory currently has 19 varsity teams.

“We’ve not added a sport — men or women — in 20 years,” Vienna said.