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it is vital that the leading names and organisations in the men’s game lead the campaign to brush away the cobwebs and outdated attitudes that can still intimidate newcomers to this sport of all genders.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: