Demand change for women in golf
Juli Inkster said what every woman who works in the golf industry feels every day (“Inkster: Female golfers deserve better,” Sept. 11, http://bit.ly/2xhZIwL).
It starts at the top. CEOs make the decision whether to sponsor golf tournaments. Of all the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., women hold only 4 percent of those top spots. If given the opportunity, most men want to hang out with other men. Think Augusta National, land of white male CEOs. Women who care about this issue should start directing their efforts toward those 4 percent.
Golf is still dominated by white men, from general managers through head golf professionals. Are there a few women at the top? Very few. And here's a fact for you: Women prefer to take lessons from other women. That's why many male teaching pros do not throw out the welcome mat for other female teaching professionals on their staffs.
Don't tell me there isn't money, because the U.S. Tennis Association pays the same amount of prize money at the U.S. Open to men and women. How much does the U.S. Golf Association rake in? A bundle, and it’s nearly impossible to find out through their financial statement because it's buried.
The USGA’s TV revenue increased to $93 million 2015. But yet, the USGA continues to pay women less than half of what the men make.
If the USGA doesn't care about equality, who will?
After years of saying the LPGA should stay a separate organization, maybe the Tour Division would be better served under the PGA Tour umbrella. It pains me to say it, but if that's what it takes to increase the purse, I'd be OK with it.
To the gentleman who can't seem to increase the number of women at his course (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Sept. 13, http://bit.ly/2x179WO), here are some suggestions: Offer child care in one of your extra rooms; have your teaching pro (hopefully a woman) play with a different foursome every week; hold free clinics each week; and have lots of social activities after golf. Get other local courses to form a traveling league.
I've done all of these, and they work.
Nothing is going to change unless we band together and demand it.
Take a cue from politics. That's what it takes in today's world.
St. Paul, Minn.
(Larey is an LPGA teaching professional.)
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