Back to the future

By Alex Kantor

Hayley Milbourn '11 is known for her dramatic shots on match day.

[Past & Present] When two golfers playing together hit shots that end up in roughly the same spot, it’s said that they are playing “cart golf.” Despite attending Amherst more than a century apart, Hayley Milbourn ’11 and John G. Anderson, Class of 1905, have been playing cart golf all along.

Milbourn’s accomplishments on the women’s golf team often go unnoticed outside the close-knit golf community, but for those who’ve been watching, her domination in competition is awe-inspiring. Milbourn is a three-time National Golf Coaches Association All-American who burst onto the national scene as a first-year, earning the 2008 NGCA National Rookie of the Year title. She has won an eye-popping 12 events individually, including the first of her rookie season, against a field at Dartmouth University that included Division I players. She has done this all while helping the Jeffs climb to the No. 2 national ranking in Division III.

Her successes build upon those of Anderson, who, more than 100 years ago, put Amherst golf on the map. After helping form the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association in 1903, Anderson, who was captain of the Amherst team, won the organization’s first two individual championships. He led the Lord Jeffs to the NEIGA team championship in his senior season, setting the stage for a dominant career after graduation. He won the Massachusetts Amateur Championship in 1907 and 1911 and, in both 1913 and 1915, was runner-up at the U.S. Amateur Championships. Anderson’s legacy can still be felt each year when the Amherst men’s golf team plays in the NEIGA Championship.

Anderson recorded an astounding seven holes-in-one during his career, with none more memorable than his ace on the 328-yard, par-4 at Brae Burn Country Club outside Boston. Milbourn is similarly known for her dramatic shots on match day. Last spring, she dropped in her first hole-in-one for Amherst on 14th hole of the the Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. That ace on the home course of her archrivals helped force a playoff in the final round of the Williams College Invitational en route to another individual win. “To the naked eye, you might not see her intensity,” says Head Coach Michelle Morgan, “but believe me, she wants to beat everyone out there.”

If her senior season follows the path Milbourn has walked for the past three years, her name might well sit atop the record books for the next 100 years.

Photo by Charles Quigg '09