Golfers share friendship, rivalry

With the move to Division I-A, FAMU athletics had to add new sports to its program. A new women’s golf team was included in the plans and two young ladies could not have been happier with the addition.

Charmayne Joseph and Vermetra Johnson both excelled at golf in highschool, but had difficulty finding a school they liked that also had a women’s golf team.

“I always wanted to come to FAMU, but I knew they didn’t have a golf team,” said Joseph, 17, a freshman English student from Miami. “I never thought I would play at the college level.”

The two best friends had many great accomplishments in their brief career as golfers.

Johnson started playing a year earlier than Joseph because she broke into the golf world her freshman year.

One of their first recognitions was a feature in The Miami Herald as the area’s premier black golfers.

They were recognized for placing in the district meet, Johnson in 16th and Joseph right behind her in 18th. The ladies also qualified for the regional meet.

Johnson said she is happy to be a part of history.

“I was really hoping to be one of the first female golfers [at FAMU],” Johnson, 17, a freshman biology student from Miami, said.

“We were inquiring about it with the athletic director and are just glad that it is finally going to happen.”

Their first official tournament however, is not until the 2004-2005, because the team is still completing NCAA requirements.

Both athletes are ready for the season to begin, but are approaching it with realistic expectations.

“Although we have a couple of experienced players, I don’t think we will do that well because 2004 is the first year FAMU has had a girls golf team,” Johnson said.

Knowing that both Joseph and Johnson have played together for so long, people often ask who is the best athlete between the two.

“I really can’t answer that question, because we both play on the same level,” Joseph said.

“Some days I play better and sometimes I don’t, we only differ between three strokes.”

On the other hand, Johnson feels a little differently.

“Personally, I feel that I’m better than Charmayne,” she said jokingly.

“I have been playing longer than she has and I have been able to work with many golf professionals.”