5 Reasons Why You Should Watch More Women’s Golf
The Women’s British Open has been gracing TV screens and offered a top-quality golf viewing experience. But, across the board, female golf still gets less traffic than its male counterpart. The days of men making derogatory jokes about female athletes over a beer and a handful of pork scratchings are thankfully behind us, but the women’s game still lags behind the men’s. If more male viewers - especially - knew what they were missing, however, they might be more inclined to tune in. To help get the women the viewership they deserve, here’s 5 reasons you should watch more women’s golf.
1 – They are Better Swing Models
For all its technical brilliance, the swing of the average male pro is a melee of ferocity and speed which requires a very specific physique to be able to cope with it. In a word: you need to be buff. Most amateur male golfers don’t, to put it kindly, look anything like this and are therefore badly placed to emulate the players’ swings. If you don’t have the body for it, trying to mimic the lean-muscled thrash of a DJ or a Tiger is going to lead to lost balls and perhaps even a trip to the A&E room. By contrast, the less physical, more graceful movements of top female golfers are similarly effective, but aren’t so strenuous. They’re both better role models and better for your health.
2 – They Give Better Interviews
It’s not just on the course that the women are a match for the men: they excel them off the fairways too. It may be because they’re chronically underpaid, or just feminine candour, but, in my opinion, women golfers’ interviews tend to be more interesting than the men’s. With the exception of perhaps Rory McIlroy’s, male golf interviews are mostly dull soundbites. From Tiger Woods autobotting that it’s “really, really tough out there” to any other carbon copy pro beeping that they’ve “just got to take it one shot at a time”, the clichés come at you like snow. Give me Laura Davies, Annabel Dimmock and the ‘Pink Panther’ Paula Creamer over these sputniks any day.
3 – They Have Better Short Games
Well, technically, this one isn’t quite true. But perhaps because of female golfers’ relative lack of distance compared to the men, the emphasis seems to fall more on the short clubs. And this seems to be shown more on TV. Whether it’s watching the girls float in a parachute-like-landing lobber or running in a bumped 7 iron, you’ll be amazed at the variety and skill of the LPGA and Ladies European Tour players.
4 – You’ll Learn More About Course Management by Watching Them
As Bobby Jones famously once said, “competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course… the space between your ears.” In the men’s game though, it seems like competitive golf is played more with the biceps and forearms. It’s no secret that, since the advent of Tiger Woods, ‘bomb and gouge’ style players have dominated the game – the emphasis is on power, not precision, and plotting your way around a course is all but a foreign concept. Not so in the women's game. It may just be my imagination, but the women seem to be much more invested in course management and because they probably hit the ball distances that are closer to the average amateur viewer than the 350-yard bomb dropping male pros, their strategy is directly relevant.
5 – They’re a Damn Sight More Fashionable
If nipple-hugging lycra shirts and baggy slacks are your thing (okay, I’m stereotyping a bit here), then by all means, keep watching men’s golf. But if you want some real fashion tips, check out the LPGA. My personal favourite is the English sensation Mel Reid’s skinny-jean-like trousers that she’s been sporting on and off for a while now – nicely understated but still hip. Contrast these to Rory McIlroy’s and Rickie Fowler’s ill-judged touting of what were essentially tracksuit bottoms – the infamous Nike golf joggers – and you’ll see what I mean.
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