It’s not a secret that golf is mainly a man-dominated sport. However, women have been a big part of this sports history, too. Throughout the years, the female role in golf was changing, and today there are more women playing than ever before. Although the “rules of the game” have changed, one thing becomes certain. Ladies helped shape golf and take their well-deserved place in this sport. Take a look at our short timeline of the role of women in golf, as well as their achievements on the field.
Female Golfers throughout history
During the 20th and 21st centuries, golf is often related to men, especially as their favorite leisure activity. Whether it’s recreational or professional, it becomes obvious that male participants are in larger numbers. However, not many people know that girls have been included in this sport since the 15th century. Slowly but steady, they paved their path in order to prove they can be equally successful in this game. Take a look at the top 3 famous women in golf who helped shaped this sport through history:
○ Karrie Webb. Probably the most famous Australian female golfer, this is one of the most successful women in golf throughout history. She gained the title of Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018. She was also the first LGPA golfer to earn $1 million in a single season.
○ Babe Didrickson-Zaharias (a.k.a. “the Babe”). “The Babe” won a few gold Olympic medals and set many world records in this sport. She was equally successful in both track and field and set many world records in this sport.
○ Nancy Lopez. Another female player who shaped golf’s history. In 1978 she became the first one of women in golf to win the two most prestigious awards in the same season. Those were the Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year.
Women in golf today
During the last decade, it became apparent that women took a much larger role in professional golf playing. With the change in cultural and gender-related roles, it’s no wonder that this sport becomes more popular with ladies. In order for ladies to become majors in this sport, women needed to overcome a lot of obstacles, the biggest of which was objectivization. Nevertheless, there are many excellent female golfers today.
Both professional male counterparts and the media believed that female game is a lot more different than men’s. Unfortunately, this was usually said in a bad way.
Today, it’s believed that women’s golf is not as stable and prominent as men’s, which is far from the truth. Since the sport was shaped through history as men’s leisure, it’s no wonder so many prejudices exist. Luckily, all the facts point to the contrary. The Ladies Professional Golf Association agrees that female golf is thriving, especially with so many high expectations from their male colleagues. The LPGA defines women in golf as majors that are as well-accepted as in any other professional sport.
There are more women in golf each year
Having in mind how fast this sport is evolving, it’s no wonder there are more women in golf each season. With breaking bad (and untrue) prejudices about women in golf, there is a larger number of ladies who decide to professionally play the game. On the other hand, some would say that golf is still not completely gender-equal, especially when compared to other professional sports. Around 75% of all golfers in the world are still men. The reason for these numbers is not in the accessibility of the sport towards women. Technically, they are included in the game and have all the rights to compete professionally, but not many women choose to pursue their careers in this sport.
No matter how we see it, it’s a fact there the number of women in golf is rapidly growing, and it should keep growing even more. It takes hard work and determination for women in golf to make their mark, but their time is coming, for sure. Hence, if beginner, you could start with indoor golf club membership. What women in golf can do is keep doing their best to prove that this game is something they can thrive in. Whether it’s recreational or professional, golf in the 21st century is definitely not only a sport for men. After overcoming a big cultural issue and the habit of generalization, there is no doubt that golf is going to become a leading sport for both ladies and gentlemen alike. After all, successful ladies who pursued their careers in professional golf are there to prove this.