I believe, for whatever reason, most men do not watch women’s sports. They actually say that the game is not of the caliber of the mens game and not fun to watch. The usual exception is a man whose daughter or granddaughter is into sports and plays a sport. They might play baseball or softball, soccer, basketball, swimming, water polo, golf, etc. These Dads and Granddads support the girls. They have a vested interest in watching and rooting for their family member. Many men who don’t have sons live their sports life through their daughters. I also know of families where the daughter, not the son, inherited the athletic ability.
In Universities, Title IX requires equal money for both mens and womens sports. Universities give sports scholarships to women as well as men. The USGA (United States Golf Association) holds national championships for women as well as men. In fact, this year they added a Senior Women’s Open Championship.
Let’s stick to golf, since, that is my passion and hopefully one of yours. The women of the LPGA play a game of golf that is far superior to the average mans game. They drive the ball further, are more accurate and hit fewer horrible shots. Yet, their game is much more similar to our (average or above average Joe) than the game the men on the PGA tour play. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching the PGA tour and the Champions (senior) PGA Tour. I marvel at their distance. I’m in awe of their ability to hit from the rough, in and around trees, etc. Their ability to get out of the sand and leave it close to the hole time after time can be mind boggling. To sum up, the PGA Tour is great and I will continue to watch, but Can you identify the game? I surely can’t.
The LPGA is another story. They are definitely better than me and let’s face it, you. However, I can identify with their game. We all sometimes play with men who outdrive us 50 to 75 yards. We hit a lot of fairway woods or hybrid second shots and so do the Ladies. They tend to hit their irons further than we do but not so far that we can’t identify. These women have excellent hand-to-eye coordination. Better than mine. I still can understand their shots and club selection. In other words, I can understand their game and I find it fun to watch.
A number of years ago I attended an LPGA event at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, CA. My wife and I went with another couple and we really had a good time. It was fun to see the women up close. Many other couples I know also attended the event. Some went all 4 days. Of course, in that case, both husband and wife were golfers. So if it’s fun in person, why not watch it on television too. Just like with the men, you have your favorites. You get to know the American and European golfers if you follow and watch the Solheim Cup. The Women’s version of the Ryder Cup. The USA won the last event under the leadership of Julie Inkster. She was a standout collegiate golfer at San Jose State, a 3 time US Amateur Champion, and a 7 time Major winner on the LPGA Tour. She’s a mother of 2 and was instrumental in getting daycare for touring mothers. Her daughters are grown now but she is still an inspiration to many women on the tour who are or plan to be mothers. The Solheim Cup showcases great golf. This fall is the Ryder Cup, but I plan to watch the Solheim Cup next year and as an American I’ll cheer for the USA.
Presently, it seems that the Asians, from Korea and Thailand are dominating the tour. You have to ask how these small nations are developing such great female golfers and where are the Americans. Young girls in those countries are seeing their countrywomen have great success and gaining wealth playing golf in the United States. The countries have developed junior programs to develop golfers.
What about US women and girls. Do we have the programs to develop the next generation of golfers? I can’t believe that this great nation does not have the talented kids to dominate any tour. I understand that 200 golf scholarships go unawarded by the NCAA every year. What a shame. Look, being a professional golfer sounds glamorous but it is really a lot of hard work and sacrifice. They need help and encouragement. They need support.
The First Tee program supported by both the PGA and LPGA is a good start but not enough. It needs more support from the golfing population. Women’s collegiate golf needs more support from the golfing population. The LPGA needs more support from the golfing population. I belong to the Discovery Bay Country Club. We have a Senior Men’s Club and after our Senior Invitational last year, we were able to donate money to both Liberty High School Golf and the First Tee Program in our area. The money was ear marked to be equally split between boys and girls golf.
Watch the LPGA and the USGA women’s events on television. Better viewership will enable the organizations to negotiate better television coverage deals and get more money.
Encourage your daughters and granddaughters to take up golf. It’s probably the only sport you can play with them for life. As an added benefit you can play with them, spend quality time with them, and believe me you will enjoy it.
These are my opinions. What are yours? I would appreciate hearing from you as to why you do or do not watch the LPGA.