Liz Banfield '92

Primary tabs

  • Liz Banfield
    Liz: My name is Liz Banfield. I currently live in Minneapolis, and I’m a member of Grinnell College class of ’92. And my memory is from my freshman year, and I was here in 1988, and I was an accomplished golfer and had actually flirted with playing division 1, but came to Grinnell College and Grinnell didn’t have a women’s golf team.
  • Liz Banfield
    Liz: So, at the time I decided that perhaps I’d play on the men’s golf team, which was a spring sport. So, after I got... it must’ve been right after Winter Break, I called up the men’s golf coach, Coach Bowers, and he was probably an octogenarian at the time. He was retired, and an elderly man, and I could tell when I called him on the phone that he was not delighted with the idea of a woman playing on his men’s golf team. But, he, of course, didn’t want to say no, so he invited me over to the PEC, in the basement, where they had some places where you could hit into nets.
  • Liz Banfield
    Liz: And so I met him over there, and again he was being very, sort of cagey, kind of not committing, you know. And he teed up a ball for me and I took a swing and he paused and looked at me and said, “Will you marry me?”
  • Tamara Grbusic & Liz Banfield
    Tamara: Haha.Liz: And... so that was the beginning of a great friendship. Coach Bowers is an amazing individual and a fantastic coach. He has since passed away, which is terrible, but everyone does, of course. But he was- I mean, he was an older man and- but anyway, he was delightful and we had a great season and I was the first woman to letter on the men’s golf team. I believe there’s a women’s golf team now, but I was the first woman to earn a Varsity letter on the men’s golf team and it was just an amazing spring and I’m so grateful to Coach Bowers for just opening his arms and welcoming me into that team.Tamara: Okay. Thank you so much.
Alumni oral history interview with Liz Banfield '92. Recorded June 2, 2012.