Golf is taking a huge swing in the right direction
In the week prior to International Women’s Day there has been a huge step taken by one of the most historically old fashioned sports, Golf. Known for it’s notable ill treatment of women in the past this is a huge leap and quite a bold move for a sport that only recently started letting females into the club house.
The news that the European Tour announced, was that this year’s GolfSixes tournament will feature both male and female players in a move that marks a first for the tour.
How will this work we hear you ask?
Well, Thomas Bjørn and Catriona Matthew, the captains of Europe’s Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup teams, will form a team during the event, while two all-women’s teams will also compete alongside the 11 men’s teams. A fourth and final wild card team will be revealed next month. The tournament will take place between 5th – 6th May 2018, with all 16 teams competing for a total prize fund of €1m ($1.2m), with the winners receiving €100,000 each.
Many sports will be looking at this event with a keen eye as they consider launching their own mixed gender events. The tournament is going that one step further than the likes of tennis by letting all female teams compete against mens. This is a high risk gamble that could go one of two ways. It will either highlight the gulf between the men’s and women’s game and therefore put off women’s participation in a sport that has possibly the biggest earnings gap in professional sport. Or it will show that women can compete at the highest level in Golf and challenge the men and their glass ceiling, thus improving the participation of women in the sport.
Hopefully it will be the latter and we will start to see mixed events becoming a norm on our sporting calendar.
Either way we’ll be watching to see what happens….