In this blog Tamir Davies, from Journalistic.org, highlights the ongoing gender pay gap between men and women in golf…Muirfield it seems is only the tip of the iceberg!
The LPGA has been running for more than 50 years, yet equal pay is far from close. And like many other sports, female golfers have been needlessly overlooked. As a sport that has been long considered a ‘man’s game’, isn’t it time we level the playing field? Golf is one of the worst culprits in sport for its gender pay gap, as we discovered professional male golfers can expect to earn 6 times more in winnings this year than the next winner on the female tour. They play the same game, to the same level, the only difference is one chromosome, yet their trophies and achievements are worth less. Why?
So what’s going on here, other than the obvious discrimination of women? Are professional men being paid more because they are better golfers than women? It’s about time someone was made accountable? Is the media really blame? Some argue that despite women playing the equivalent tournament (LPGA), they do not attract the same audience as the men.
Interestingly, a mass divide in funding should not deter from the abilities of women. Yet, when you take driving accuracy; the rankings of the top 5 female players of last year by CMBE achieved a higher accuracy percentage than 4 out of 5 top male players. Moreover, Henrik Stenson was praised for the best GIR score since Tiger Woods in 2006. Tiger Woods had achieved a score of 74.15%, yet LPGA golfer Lexi Thompson achieved 77.23% Greens in Regulation in 2015; higher than both of her superior male counterparts. And of course the result did not make it into any media coverage.
The nature of women performing better than men is no new phenomenon. The same story runs throughout professional golf, as in 2006 when Tiger Woods shot the second highest GIR percentage, Lorena Ochoa made 75.5% beating him. It would be unfair and unwarranted to disregard the capabilities of women in golf as the best females have performed better than men for years. Kelly Robbins, at her best has averaged 78.7% GIR in 1997 and Annika Sorenstam scored 79.7% in 2001 and 2002.
Others also argue that women cannot be deemed better than men at golf due to their shorter courses. The average yardage for an LPGA Tour is 6,400 yards, and men have 7,200 yards; an 800 yard difference. On the surface, it looks to be the case that women are given an unfair advantage, but in reality men have a 50 yard advantage average per drive, giving them a maximum of 900 extra yards over 18 holes. Do the maths – and women do play the exact length as men. The statistics don’t lie, and in some cases women outperform men, so we ask again, why don’t they get paid the same?
In reality, gender inequality will continue to exist. It sounds as simple as paying women the same as men, but for professional golfers, it is difficult to implement as there is no set wage for golfers; they rely on prize winnings and sponsorship deals by large and powerful corporates. To help level the playing field, companies must be willing to support through means of sponsorship to help boost the women’s game.
Check out the infographic below with some stats…
Infographic from golfsupport.com