TOWSON, Md. --- The Landmark Conference will increase its roster of conference sports with the addition of varsity men's and women's golf beginning in the fall of the 2017, it was announced Thursday.
"Since shortly after the conference began competition in 2007, there has been discussion about the potential for golf in the Landmark," said Landmark Commissioner Dan Fisher.
"The ability of our conference to sponsor golf demonstrates that our member institutions are committed to offering a wide range of intercollegiate athletics opportunities for their students. I can't wait to witness the first shot sail out of the tee box at the Landmark championships in a little more than two years."
By adding men's and women's golf, the Landmark will increase the number of sports sponsored for the first time since the conference was organized in 2006. The additions will bump the conference's championship offerings up to 22 – 12 for women, 10 for men.
Moravian, Scranton, and Susquehanna have participated as affiliate members of the Empire 8 in men's golf since 2009, with Susquehanna winning the 2009-10 Empire 8 championship. Susquehanna also sponsors a women's program, which competes as an affiliate in the Centennial Conference.
The addition of Elizabethtown as a member of the Landmark this past year brought the number of conference members with men's golf to four. During the fall of 2014, Drew, Goucher, and Juniata indicated that they were exploring the possibility of adding varsity men's and women's golf in the near future, rekindling the possibility of Landmark golf.
In February, the Landmark Presidents gathered for their annual in-person meeting and leant support for the concept of men's and women's golf as conference sports, charging the Athletics Directors to collect more information and discuss options for sponsorship. After meeting in March and April, the Athletics Directors delivered a recommendation that was voted on by the Presidents in May.
At least seven men's programs are expected to compete for the Landmark championship in 2017-18, and the conference will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA championship during the inaugural year, provided NCAA sponsorship rules are met.
On the women's side, Elizabethtown, Moravian and Scranton are looking at hopefully adding a women's team to complement their men's program in order to join Drew, Goucher, Juniata, and Susquehanna as Landmark members with women's golf. Catholic is also evaluating the feasibility of adding a golf program.
Members of the Landmark Conference share a focus on institutional excellence through the emphasis of their academic missions and a belief that athletics competition is an important component of the undergraduate experience. Intercollegiate athletic programs are maintained with a perspective that holds paramount the academic programs of the institution and the academic and personal growth of the student-athlete.
Founded in 2006, the Landmark Conference consists of nine NCAA Division III institutions: The Catholic University of America, Drew University, Elizabethtown College, Goucher College, Juniata College, Moravian College, The University of Scranton, Susquehanna University, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Marywood University is an affiliate member of the conference in swimming & diving. The Landmark Conference began competition in September of 2007.
Release courtesy of Landmark Conference office