Have you ever had that happen to you?
I’m a professional golfer and have won on the LPGA and on the KLPGA and it happened to me as well. Is there anything that we can do to change this? Or is it always going to be this way? Sure, the average female golfer vs the average male golfer, even as a pro, hits the ball shorter but there are plenty women, amateur and pros, that it further than some men.
So, I would like to share with you my experience where I was treated by a male club fitter as “a woman” rather than as “a golfer”.
I was in Las Vegas for a vacation and one evening while walking through the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, there was a golf shop with a simulator where you can try out some drivers and I decided to go in and hit a few, even though I was wearing a dress and high heel.
Me and my friend (who was male) were the only ones in the store and it was in the evening and I’m sure that the fitter/ store employee wanted nothing else but to close up and go home.
Anyway, I went up to the simulator and the fitter approached and I asked if I could hit a few drivers, fist he looked at me as he was surprised that I, the female was the one who wanted to hit and not my male friend. But he said sure, I’ll get you a driver that you can hit.
To my surprise at the time, he grabbed a driver with a PINK shaft and I played along and said thank you and got in position to hit it. I started to swing it and in the corner of my eye when I was in the back swing I see the fitter lean towards the golf bag where he just grabbed the driver with the pink shaft and grabbing another driver.
After I hit the shot I looked at the fitter and could see that he was very embarrassed and wanted to give me the new driver he had picked out during my swing. I asked him “so, why did you give me this driver with the pink shaft?” He replied, you were a woman so I gave you a women’s flex shaft but as soon as I saw you set up and take your backswing I realized that I had made a big mistake and grabbed one with a stiff flex shaft” I responded with, that is very interesting that you just made that assumption and not even ask me any questions about my skill level before giving me a driver.
I don’t believe that we can make these bad assumptions about women golfers go away quickly, but I do believe I as an instructor and club fitter can assist in getting the correct equipment for women golfer as I swore to myself that day in Las Vegas that I would never assume anything about my student’s abilities before assessing her or his skills before recommending equipment to them.
There are currently around 1,700 LPGA professionals and a few hundred female PGA members (who are not dual members in both organizations). And the number of women in leadership positions at golf clubs and facilities are growing by the day. As I believe that as more and more women are in leadership positions at golf clubs there is a greater chance to see changes in how women are treated on the golf course and as members.
After all, this game was nicknamed “the gentleman’s game” and it was a majority of males in leadership positions at golf clubs and facilities for a very long time.
Continued growth in women in leadership roles and also providing great instruction for women by women will help women feel more welcome at clubs and also become better golfers along the way as now they will enjoy taking lessons and practice!
That is why we have created our online teaching platform called “My Time for Golf”. Our first course The Golf Fundamentals for beginners and intermediate players is quite popular among our students.