Girls Golf Exceeds Expectations in their Inaugural Season


Gemma Fink and Aylin Tepe

Lake Forest Academy’s 2021 fall sports season has introduced numerous changes to the school’s athletics department. One of the most notable changes has been the recent introduction of a new fall sport: Girls Golf. The initiative began with students Aylin Tepe ‘22 and Madeline Cournoyer ‘23, who had both served as vital players on LFA’s Golf Team for the past three years; however, this year, the teams were distinguished between the boys’ and girls’ programs.


In previous years, LFA’s golf program had been a co-ed operation, with the majority of players being male. This was due to a lack of interest in the sport among the student population, prompting the athletic department to combine girls and boys golf out of practicality. 


After careful planning and countless meetings with LFA’s athletic director, Darrin Madeley, Tepe and Cournoyer finally got their idea approved, and established the new Girls Golf Team.


In June, Madeley reached out to LFA math teacher Mike Hall and offered him the opportunity to coach the new team. Hall, having only joined LFA’s faculty in March, was uncertain as to what sport he would be asked to coach. Upon receiving the email, he was thrilled, saying that he “immediately jumped at the opportunity.”


The biggest challenge in starting the girls’ golf program, Cournoyer remarked, was “worrying if there would be enough interest in Girls Golf.” The athletics department initially anticipated that Girls Golf would be a non-cut sport consisting of five or six players. However, the team surprised many as they began their season with nine members, all of whom were eager to carve out the legacy of Girls Golf at LFA.


When asked about the level of skill that the girls had coming in, Hall remarked, “We had five that could really play golf and four beginners.” Yet, by the end of the season, the beginners had gone from not knowing how to play golf to playing nine holes.


Throughout their season, the Girls Golf Team continued to exceed expectations as they won match after match. One of the most notable was the Blue Devil Invitational, in which Tepe placed first, Almira Tepe ‘25 followed closely in second, and Cournoyer placed fourth — thus putting LFA’s Girls Golf team in first place overall.


Ultimately, the team ended their season with an undefeated record, and both the girls and their coach eagerly await as the future of Girls Golf at LFA continues to improve. As Tepe remarked, “Madeline and I are glad to have set down a foundation as the two upperclassmen of the team for all future Girls Golf members.”


It is clear that the girls’ success in this past season will grant them new opportunities next fall, as their reputation continues to garner respect among their competitors. The LFA community looks forward to watching the Girls Golf program continue to evolve.