By Mark Harman, USGTF Director of Education

Since golf’s inception, women, too, have played the game. As legend goes, in the 16th century Mary, Queen of Scots, was accused of playing golf only a few days after the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley. Pictures of women playing golf at St. Andrews in the 1890s exist, and competitions have been around for nearly as long.

Recently, President Joe Biden has been appointing a number of women to important positions, recognizing their strength and abilities. Golf can and should do a better job of recognizing women’s strengths and abilities, too. Let’s look at golf media, for example, specifically Golf Channel and Golf Digest, the latter the largest golf magazine in terms of circulation. During a one-hour “Golf Central” – the main news show on Golf Channel – there might be 48 minutes of show and 12 minutes of commercials. It is common to see 40 or more minutes spent discussing the PGA Tour and its players. The channel is not called PGA Tour Channel. It’s called Golf Channel, and last time I checked, women’s golf plays tournaments every week, too.

I also subscribe to Golf Digest, and while the magazine is doing a better job of featuring women players and instructors compared to a few years ago, it is also sadly lacking. Now, no one is suggesting Golf Channel or Golf Digest necessarily give women exactly equal time, but there is no doubt they are short-changed. As women continue to gain in buying power and making inroads in all avenues of society, they will become more of a force in golf. Getting ahead of the game and recognizing that fact sooner rather than later will benefit all of us.

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