Senior Voice Should Be Heard

Trish Johnson might be a veteran of the women’s game, but she is as hungry as ever to compete and hopes there will be many more opportunities to do so. 

As the next edition of Women & Golf comes out TODAY, here’s a sneak preview of what you can expect from Trish Johnson's interview in this issue.

It is not just the Ladies European Tour who have been taken over by America’s LPGA for the start of this 2020 season. The same applies to the legends, the women’s senior circuit which is based in America and takes in two of our own leading lights - Dame Laura Davies and Trish Johnson. The seniors’ arrangement is altogether more informal than that with the LET but, make no mistake, Mike Whan, the CEO of the LPGA, is keen to help all he can. Already, he is forking out for Jane Geddes, a former major winner and the owner of a law degree, to bring her expertise to bear on bringing the senior circuit to life.

The 54-year-old Johnson, who has 26 LET titles to her name and four from the LPGA Tour, is as interested in one development as she is in the other. While Davies will continue to dip into all three of the LPGA, the LET and the Legends, Johnson, who was born and brought up in Bristol, is concentrating on the LET and the Legends this coming year.

“We’re just going to have to wait and see how it all works out,” she said re the LPGA takeovers. “It’s great that Mike Whan is suddenly stepping in to make things happen on the LET and senior circuits, but it’s sad that no-one on the UK end has shown any interest in helping the over 45s. We’d been hoping that the R&A, who have taken over the Women’s British Open from the LGU, would copy their opposite numbers in the States and set a Senior Women’s British Open alongside the women’s Open, but there aren’t any signs of that as yet.”

It’s easy to understand why Johnson and Davies are still hoping. After all, it’s only a couple of years since the R&A introduced their Women in Golf Charter and talked of how they would be pouring eighty million pounds into the women’s game over the next ten years. Also, it goes without saying that a Women’s British Senior Open would seem to be a ‘must have’ for an organisation which runs both a men’s Open and a men’s Senior Open. 

Johnson admits there could be a problem in that there is no senior women’s circuit over here. “A lot of the European girls who play on the LET and LPGA tours are nowadays tending to give up in their early thirties and don’t show much interest in returning to the scene at a later stage. They’re not like the men who make a smooth transition from the regular tour to the Champions Tour in the States or the European Tour to the StaySure circuit. Some girls, like Lydia Ko, say from the start that they don’t want to be travelling the world beyond the age of thirty and would sooner have a change of career. Others, not unnaturally, want to start a family.

“Personally,” continued Johnson, “I struggle to understand why more of them don’t want to return to golf because I’ll always think of myself as a professional golfer until the day I die - and Laura’s much the same.”

This is just a snippet of Lewine Mair's article in the latest issue of Women & Golf magazine. You can pick up Women & Golf, on sale NOW, or click here to subscribe now to read the full feature and enjoy W&G delivered to your door! 


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