@Golfpeach’s view on the R&A Women in Golf Charter for Lady Golfer Magazine

As a total golf fanatic, I still struggle to believe that I was once a university student at St Andrews with absolutely no interest in the sport. Maybe the fact that it was another 30 years after I graduated before the R&A voted to admit women as members had something to do with that. Not that I want to be a member, but it’s always nice to be asked.

That is what this charter is doing – opening doors that were once boarded up to female golfers and saying ‘come on in, you are very welcome’.

To change the culture and actively encourage girls and young women to pick up a club and try this game, play the great courses and pursue a career in golf, it is the warmth of the welcome that is most important now. Not just changing archaic rules and introducing initiatives.

I sense a definite change in the air and it is vital that the leading names and organisations in the men’s game lead the campaign to brush away the cobwebs and outdated attitudes that can still intimidate newcomers to this sport of all genders. Women don’t want to be tolerated by golf, we want to be appreciated and respected within the wonderful community of the game.

While we are changing the status quo, let’s tackle some of the conventions guarded by ‘lady golfers’ themselves. I think a relaxation of traditional clothing etiquette is overdue to help to make golf cooler and a little sexier for women who want to give the sport a different look and feel. Let’s not tell 18 year olds what to wear, let’s ask them. They may surprise us!

Read more about key golf industry figures views here in Lady Golfer magazine:

How will the R&A Women in Golf Charter help ladies golf?

Lady Golfer Mag: Golf Lessons! Are you a brazen golf floozy?

I think I may have gone through more coaches in the first four years of my golfing life than boyfriends at university. But now I’m ready to settle down! See my full blog here for Lady Golfer Magazine.

Golf Monthly Blog: Augusta! I found some common ground with these gods of golf: The Flaws!

Read my latest blog in Golf Monthly:

@GolfPeach: “Augusta made them look almost human at times… human like me”

Womensgolf.com blog: Every score card has an untold story that we are all gagging to tell!

Should We Mark a Card Every Time We Play Golf?

Whoever designed the golf club scorecard clearly never played the game. To imagine for one moment that all of the effort, thought and emotion that I invest in trying to propel a tiny ball 400 yards into a small hole in the ground can be recorded in a box a few millimetres square has no understanding of golf. I am thinking of proposing the introduction of note books in which we can write a short essay at the completion of each hole because the all-important number we enter dutifully onto the card is never the whole story. Yes I am kidding.

Of course, the first thing you learn as a golfer is that nobody really wants to hear your story! In professional golf, the only post-round question that counts is, “what did you shoot?” In the amateur game we are more polite, more understanding. We make the fatal mistake of asking, “how did you play?” It is an open invitation to someone to deliver a pulpit sermon full of excuses, explanations, tall tales and hard luck stories. The eyes of even the most patient listener soon begin to glaze over.

The best solution would be to open a press conference room at every club. Ten minutes after the end of each round, all players should be required to present themselves for interview. If any other club members wish to ask any questions about the detail of the score the player has just signed for they could be free to ask them in there. You wouldn’t need a large room. One chair should be plenty. Face facts, nobody else cares about your ‘how’ or ‘why’ or ‘if’… all that matters is ‘how many’.

One of the best golf sayings I’ve ever heard is, ‘good players remember the bad shots, bad players remember the good ones.’ I would like to create an addition to that adage… ‘all players remember their bad luck and conveniently forget their good luck’. Rarely do we walk off the final green thinking that our score might easily be worse than it is. We all prefer to reflect on the shots or points that got away. In a perfect world, we would also like to tell everybody about them over a drink. Get over it.

A couple of weeks ago, I pured a tee-shot at a downhill par 3 and lifted my head to see the glory of my white ball soaring against the perfect backdrop of an azure blue sky directly towards the flag. For a brief second or two, time stood beautifully still as I disappeared into a parallel universe in which the green was surrounded by my adoring gallery and Tim Barter was waiting microphone in hand by the Skycart. It was at this point that my ball landed on the apron, bounced against a small post protecting the approach from trolley traffic and veered sideways into a bunker. My response would definitely have to beeped out by any self-respecting media company!

This never happens to Michelle Wie. This is golf luck of a kind that only club players truly appreciate. Sunken lies in badly-raked bunkers, course maintenance work, grass cuttings, roped-off areas, worm casts, duck sh*t, bumps and bobbles on temporary greens. Some days you clip every over-hanging branch, find every divot lie, lip out every putt. Well, you don’t in reality but that’s the way it seems and feels.

Watching another player disappearing into a cloud of self-pitying rage and despair as the golfing Gods conspire against them is like watching someone sink helplessly into quicksand. There is nothing you can say, no way you can help. Dealing with the shot immediately after a bad swing is difficult enough… dealing with the one after a bad break requires the patience of a saint. And all the time your growing score on the hole is ticking in your head like a taxi meter in traffic. Golf is above all a test of our ability to be philosophical. Sh*t happens. Say whatever expletives that make you feel better then move on.

So, there is a very good reason why the scorecard is designed to allow the bare minimum of reporting of each hole we play. To allow space for eye-witness accounts and hindsight reviews of each of the 18 steps we take would be to add at least an hour to every round. Even when it all becomes too much and you simply cannot complete the course, a cursory ‘NR’ covers everything from a major sulk to a major injury. ‘What happened to Steve?’… ‘he collapsed on the 17th tee and was rushed to hospital’… ‘ah, no return then’. The box at the bottom of the card contains all we need to know.

Gimmes in Golf! Are you a pitiless Pettersen or a Big-hearted Jack?

Read my latest blog in Golf Monthly Magazine

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