Woolley Park’s Hannah Holden and Emily Rowbottom explain why golf clubs need to seriously rethink inclusivity
Women are not allowed to play Saturday competitions in some clubs because “men don’t want [them] win them”.
NCG’s Hannah Holden argued in the latest edition of our From the Clubhouse podcast that it was “dumb” to restrict when men or women could take the course.
She was speaking with Emily Rowbottom of Woolley Park, whose Yorkshire club organizes most of its competitions as mixed golf tournaments and gives competitors the option of choosing which tee they want to play on.
They recently held a popular Ability Tee Day, which assigned a particular tee to golfers based on their handicaps, while all of their tees are rated for men and women.
Although Woolley Park places no restrictions on when golfers can turn up, or even whether they want to compete or not, many clubs still hold a ladies’ day mid-week and a men’s competition on Saturday.
Hannah said it had an impact on working women who couldn’t play midweek, only to find they couldn’t play on Saturdays either.
“From a woman’s point of view, I find it frustrating because a lot of people who make these committees are people who don’t work or belong to a generation where they didn’t have to work,” he said. she declared.
“They don’t have the perspective of my generation where everyone is at work, and we can’t play golf during the week, and we have to be able to do something different on the weekends.
“Until people change that mindset, there won’t be more women playing golf.”
She added: “It’s stupid because golf is [a] sport where any gender, any ability, can compete together. It’s not like tennis where you play directly against another person and you need someone of a similar level.
“We have a course where people can play from anywhere and you have a handicap and can get the required strokes accordingly.
“It doesn’t make sense that everyone can’t play together. I think a lot of it is just that the men don’t want the women to win their competitions.
“Why is this important? I don’t understand. Just run a men’s and women’s competition at the same time and everyone can play.
“Then, on the other hand, you have women who won’t give up this competition in the middle of the week. So the men say, ‘Well, if we can’t play on a Tuesday, why can you play on a Saturday? ?’
“That’s fair enough, but I also think the reality is that most of these men wouldn’t be playing on Tuesdays anyway – because they’re at work.”
“Quite often men ask me if I play golf and I don’t,” Emily explained. “I say I work full time and have a young family. It’s not something I can do at the moment.
“That’s why I sometimes find it difficult when England Golf promotes women in golf and everything because when you run out of time as a woman, and then you go to a club that doesn’t give you all the options and restricts what you can and I can’t, I just don’t think it’s as feasible as the governing bodies make it out to be.
She added: “Life is complicated enough when you’re balancing a lot of things and being told you can’t do something at the time you want to do it – it just doesn’t work.
“When you look at him, take a step back like I do because I don’t have a golf background, he’s just a person who wants to play golf. It’s just golf.
“Does it matter if you are a man or a woman? It does not matter. When you really look at it in black and white, I don’t really see why there’s so much drama surrounding it. It’s just tradition, I think.
What do you think? Do separate men’s and women’s competitions still have a place? Should you be banned from playing golf? Or is it time for golf to break down barriers once and for all? Let us know with a Tweeter.