Women of Asian Descent in Ivy League Golf, 1999–2013

By Douglas Coate and Chih-Sheng Chen.

Published by Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 7, 2015 $US5.00

In the 1999–2000 women’s collegiate golf season the proportion of women golfers competing for Ivy League schools that were of Asian descent and played in at least six tournaments was .22. Over the next eight collegiate golf seasons this proportion fell as low as .08 and was .14 for the 2007–2008 season. Then, over the next five collegiate seasons, through 2012-2013, the proportion of players Asian in Ivy League women’s golf who competed in at least six tournaments per season increased to .18, .23, .44, .68, and .56. The marked increase in Asian representation in women’s Ivy League golf was much greater than the increase in Asians in women’s college golf in general and in men’s Ivy League golf. We suggest Asian parents with academically and athletically gifted daughters have turned with their daughters to golf over the past decade or longer to increase the daughter’s chances of admission to selective universities in the US. This emphasis on golf may result from: 1. recognition that Asian women can compete successfully against generally taller Caucasian women given the success of Asian golfers on the LPGA tour since the late 1990’s; 2. recognition that the close parental supervision of children in the Asian family, particularly the girls, and the emphasis on discipline and practice can help build a strong golf game. Short game practice in particular may have a potentially large payoff and does not lead to physical breakdown. Variable effects regression models show that the skill (rankings) advantage of Asians over non-Asians has actually increased in women’s golf in the Ivy League in recent years; thus, Asian representation in women’s Ivy golf should continue to increase.

Keywords: Ivy League, Women’s College Golf, College Admissions, Asian Parenting

Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.13-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 7, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 377.639KB)).

Prof. Douglas Coate

Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark, N.J., USA

Chih-Sheng Chen

Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA