Where is the line in modern golf where tradition just becomes simple gender inequality and discrimination?
Although Women’s golf has come along way in the past two decades, there are still Golf Clubs hidden away in small corners of the world where keeping their traditions are priority and gender equality takes a major back seat.
With the top courses such as Augusta National and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews finally making changes and introduced their first female members. St Andrews is the most recent but the question is, why did it take so long?
Golf has been around for centuries and yet it has only been in the last three years any progression in increasing peoples participation in the sport has occurred. But even with some of the top golf courses in the world making a move towards equality among genders, I still feel we are a long way before equality or discrimination is not an issue.
Women have been able to participate in men’s tournaments for a while most notably Annika Sorenstam. She became the first woman to appear in a PGA Tour event since 1945 and the first of the modern era. However, she never made the cut. The main difference between the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour courses are the men’s tees are put a lot further back making the holes longer. More recently the PGA Tour has seen the arrival of Michelle Wie on a few events. Wie is known for being long off the tee and felt she could compete at a high level on the men’s circuit. Although she has never made the cut, who is to say more women can’t compete at the men’s level?
With the young stars such as Lydia Ko, Charley Hull and Sei Young Kim dominating the LPGA Tour and their progression in the game separating themselves from the rest of the field, maybe the challenge of competing against men maybe encouraged. With the introduction of technology in golf over the past two decades, players are hitting it further, straighter and generating more spin on the greens and that is no difference with women’s clubs too.
To deprive women of playing golf means the popularity of the game starts to decline not only due to the lack of women but among male members who again don’t agree with the discriminative tradition.