Q&A — Mana Hayashida: South’s iconic golf-her


by Sam McFarland & Cooper McFarland

photo courtesy of Legacy Studios

Mana Hayashida ’25 — Varsity golf team member

Q: How did you first become interested in the golf team?

A: My interest in golf stems from the fact that my grandparents on my father’s side are very big on golf, so I’ve always done it like recreationally. As a child growing up, there was one point where I was really into golf, but then I stopped playing for a while because I thought it was embarrassing to play as a girl. And then sophomore year in high school, I decided to start playing golf and that’s how I got my start on the high school golf team.

Q: What has your experience been like as the only girl?

A: Everyone’s very nice and friendly to me. I don’t feel excluded. I mean, there are times when it’s like, oh, it’s all guys, and I kind of like look back and [think], I’m the only girl. The only thing that gets to me a lot is the fact that I obviously can’t hit as far as the guys so it’s a little bit annoying having to you know, adjust to that.

Q: Have you encountered any misconceptions or stereotypes about girls in golf, ad how have you addressed them?

A: There’s this idea that we’re not as good. We obviously can’t physically hit it as far. I think a lot of people often equate how good you are at golf to how far you can hit it. But being good around the green, like your approach shots, are just equally as important. When you get to a certain level, that really differentiates who’s good and who’s better. Also, there’s a common misconception that a lot of the girls who do it are just doing it because they like dressing up in the outfits.

Q: What can South do to encourage more girls to participate in golf?

A: This was something I saw last year, but when you register for the golf team, it just says boys golf. If you look at that, as a girl, you’re going to be like, ‘Oh it’s only a boy sport.’ I think they’ve changed it to say ‘girls and boys golf’, but I do think there needs to be more exposure to golf, whether it be through different programs, or just in wellness and stuff like that. But I understand that it’s an expensive sport, but I grew up just playin on public courses, and a lot of people don’t see how [affordable] it could be.

Justin Feinberg ’16 — Varsity golf team Assistant Coach

Q: What are your thoughts about Mana being the only girl on the golf team?

A: She fits in very well. I don’t see anybody acting or treating her any different because she is the only girl. She’s having a good season and she’s been helping us get some big points on certain matches. …She can play in the girls tournament in the spring as an individual, but for the fall, she plays with the boys. She’s another person on the tea, and we just treat her like that.

Q: Why do you think only one girl has joined the team?

A: I’m honestly not sure. We advertise the same to girls and boys, and we don’t make it sound like it’s an all boys team … There have been three of four girls on the team, so I’m really not sure why we’ve only had one girl try out, but we definitely enjoy having her on the team.

Q: What kind of energy does Mana add to the team? What makes her an interesting player?

A: As a golfer, she plays very simple golf. Some people [are] out of trouble when Mana makes a par. It’s usually fairway: green, two pots. Very simply, and that’s good. That’s the way she is. She hits it pretty straight, and usually doesn’t do anything too fancy and keeps it simple. She just she’s fairway green to pot sets, and that’s good.

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