out of the rough Women needed on golf cour­ses

The Covington News - - SPORTS - LISA VAUGHT Spe­cial to The Cov­ing­ton News

Decades af­ter the women’s lib­er­a­tion move­ment, one would think fe­males would make up more than just 20 per­cent of ac­tive golfers.

How­ever at only 19 per­cent, they are even un­der that num­ber of the golf­ing pub­lic. Why is this? While the Pro­fes­sional Golfers As­so­ci­a­tion (PGA) of Amer­ica is try­ing to an­swer this ques­tion, I will give an an­swer as best I can from both a fe­male and PGA mem­ber per­spec­tive. I’m cu­ri­ous as to why there aren’t more fe­male golfers, and seek plau­si­ble rea­sons which jus­tify the lack of in­volve­ment with my gen­der on the golf course and in the golf in­dus­try.

The cor­po­rate world has em­braced women more in the last decade than ever be­fore and has proved this ac­cep­tance with more fe­male CEOs, and salaries ap­proach­ing male equiv­a­lents.

The golf in­dus­try though, is a dif­fer­ent story.

Au­gusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters, ad­mit­ted its first two fe­male mem­bers just last year, and the Women’s Open is held at St. An­drews, a male-only club. Why do the gov­ern­ing bod­ies al­low th­ese things to hap­pen? Why have we not seen more women in ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions with golf equip­ment com­pa­nies or more fe­male of­fi­cers in the PGA of Amer­ica? If we want to en­cour­age women to play golf, why do we not use women role mod­els? Un­til the PGA and the LPGA get on board com­pletely with this con­flict of in­ter­est, the growth of women in golf will con­tinue to stag­nate.

With eco­nomic strains, ca­reer pres­sures, and life in a fast-paced, high-tech world ful­fill­ing our many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, we are left with lit­tle time to un­wind, whether spend­ing time with friends or par­tic­i­pat­ing in recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties such as golf.

How­ever, there are many rea­sons for women to play golf de­spite the rig­ors of life.

A few of th­ese in­clude its re­quire­ment of fi­nesse, not strength, its so­cial na­ture, its stressreliev­ing qual­i­ties, and the great con­ver­sa­tion over cock­tails at the end of the day. Hit­ting a bucket of range balls to re­lease your stress and frus­tra­tions or re­treat­ing onto the course for two to four hours of fresh air and sun­shine (hope­fully!) are great ways to keep both a sound mind and body. The ma­jor­ity of games are played in sta­di­ums or on courts that lack the nat­u­ral beauty golf cour­ses strive to pre­serve for a re­lax­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing at­mos­phere. Golf is easy on the joints while still keep­ing the body in shape, and is a sport that can be played by any­one who can hold a golf club, no mat­ter if your age is sin­gle, dou­ble, or triple dig­its. Spend­ing a morn­ing, af­ter­noon or evening on the golf course pro­vides both women and men with a much-needed tem­po­rary es­cape from the hec­tic pres­sures of day-to-day life.

When ac­cept­ing the po­si­tion as the Head Golf Pro­fes­sional at The Oaks Course, one of my goals was to bring more women to the game, and as a re­sult, I am pre­par­ing clin­ics, events, and out­ings ex­clu­sively for women as well as men. The first of th­ese out­ings is a Women’s Nine and Dine at the Oaks Course.

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