The latest battle for gender parity comes not from Parliament Hill, but from Tokyo, where the private club scheduled to host the 2020 Olympic golf tournament is bring urged to admit women as full members.
The Kasumigaseki Country Club, northwest of Tokyo, also won’t allow women to play on Sunday, according to this story from the Kyodo News on Friday.
This could get ugly folks, the same way similar controversies at some of the most renowned golf venues in the world, such as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, Muirfield and Augusta National to name a few, played out. The National Golf Club in Woodbridge, Ont., has also come under criticism for its all-male membership.
Indeed, women playing the game, even today, is a concept that seems difficult to comprehend for some, whether it be fans or media. For example, how much attention from either group is paid to women’s majors as compared to those for the men? We’re not only talking smaller stories, but coverage that is a fraction by comparison.
For instance, name all of the women’s professional majors and here’s a hint. There are more than four.
On the flip side of this discussion, Paulina Gretzky, partner of Dustin Johnson, appeared on a provocative Golf Digest cover three years ago. At the time, Lorena Ochoa was last female player to appear on the cover and that was six years earlier and many wondered why not go with a subject known more for her golf skills.
Needless to say, the reaction of LPGA Tour players was not what you would call positive as this story from USA Today indicates, but Golf Digest made no apologies and actually suggested that the cover might get new people interested in the game.
It didn’t say whether those new people would be male or female, but Golf Digest isn’t the only media outlet to go with the soft and sexy side of female golf. Golf.com has recently unveiled its latest edition of the Most Beautiful Women in Golf, which you can see here.
For some, there is a nudge-nudge, wink-wink attitude towards such photos/editorial. Indeed, players such as Natalie Gulbis and Jan Stephenson in the 1970s, to name a couple, have marketed their physical attributes to their advantage. As a matter of fact, there are many who say good on them from a marketing point of view.
What’s the overall attitude to how women are depicted in golf?
Do people on the outside looking in see a game that believes women should be seen and not heard, even if the females with that perception are professional women themselves, with high incomes and/or considerable input into family buying decisions?
Is the perception of women in golf alienating females from the game and ultimately affecting the growth of family golf? That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and, as always, feel free to further your opinions in the Comments section below.
Is the image of females in golf alienating women, and ultimately families, from the game?
- NO (81%)
- YES (19%)