How an ‘infuriating’ article about women’s golf in Scotland damages all ‘grow the game’ initiatives
Recently, while scrolling through social media, I came across an article entitled: ‘What’s it like to be a female golfer in Scotland? It ain’t pretty’. As you might expect, it immediately caught my attention.
The article in question was written by a male journalist and was based off one anonymous female golfer’s opinion. It was quite possibly the most infuriating piece of journalism I have ever read, with negative, chauvinistic comments that made Scotland sound as if it was stuck 20 years in the past.
In all honestly, the acronym ‘Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden’ came to mind after reading it. I immediately expressed my dislike on social media and the outpouring of support was outstanding. Not only did I receive support from fellow Scottish golfers, but many others from across the UK, too.
I have played and spent time in a fair amount of the most prestigious golf clubs in the country and I have never felt unwelcome or that I didn’t deserve to be there, like the ‘anonymous source’ in that article suggests. Some of the venues that host World Amateur Golf Ranking events have men-only and women-only clubs – but that didn’t mean that competitors or guests were not welcomed and respected.
In this day in age, I do agree that there shouldn’t be same-sex golf clubs, but I think people really do give them a hard time. I grew up playing at Troon Ladies – a women-only club – and I couldn’t have been happier.
I was regularly in the Royal Troon clubhouse and on the course playing with both men and women. Even after turning professional, the support I received from both the men’s and women’s clubs was second to none.
Everybody I know in the golfing world is doing everything they can to grow the game of golf, especially on the female side. An article like this only hinders the hard work being done all over the country to promote women’s golf and would put any non-golfer off – especially when it comes to stepping foot into a Scottish club.
I’m not saying Scottish golf – and golf in general – is perfect, but we are not stuck in the past. The recent announcement of the R&A’s Women in Golf Charter is proof of that, as it aims to increase participation but also the number of women working within the golf industry. They want to create a culture that allows women to flourish at all levels of the sport and this Charter proves that golf is heading in the right direction.
Every day, there are barriers being broken down and rule changes, along with new initiatives and projects, making golf an easier game to play no matter your age or gender. It’s about time we all, collectively, focused on the many positives instead of the very few negatives that still linger.