Got a burning golf question or need to get something off your chest. Drop Women & Golf Editor Emma Ballard an email to get the conversation started.
Recently, I heard from a Women & Golf reader who feels alone at her club as she asks the simple request to play competitions on Sundays, like the men, due to her work schedule.
I am contacting you over an issue at my local golf club where I have been a female member for ten years. We have a very small ladies section like many clubs in England. I am a working woman who sometimes works 14 hours a day. Therefore my time to play is limited but I adore the game and really love the course. It’s a blessing to play.
Due to work, I can only play once a week, a Sunday. Like many working women (often with families) we cannot make the week day “ladies day” which is entirely made up of retired women, like many clubs in England.
Unfortunately, due to family I cannot play Saturday, leaving me only Sundays to play and I wish to compete. My club had only Tuesdays and Saturdays for women to enter any competition.
This blocked me out of all ladies' competitions as I couldn’t give up a day at work or my family. The club's answer initially was it is what it is, there is a ladies' day. I requested that ladies' competitions could be played for working women on a Sunday on the following grounds:-
1. I pay the same membership fee as a working man. A working man can have both days at the weekend to play.
2. I cannot make the ladies day as I am not retired!
3. It has no impact on the men if women could play their competition both days at the weekend
Initially, I thought I was alone in this contest. I have now seen so many national media articles that women do not have the same opportunities to play over the weekend as a working man all over clubs nationally and internationally.
My club resigned to my request and I was thrilled. They agreed to allow me to enter competitions on a Sunday on the grounds I stated it was discrimination and the game really needs to move in to 2023 with equality, inclusivity and working women.
Unfortunately, I then found out they are only allowing me to enter certain competitions on Sundays. Apparently it’s still a trial journey. I contested this and stated we have agreed to Sundays like the men I was informed people don’t like change!
I think we are at a stage in golf where we need to just offer equal access to competition days. By all means protect week days for retired members but if we want to grow our membership weekend golf needs to be an opportunity for all.
I am also very interested in the images and representation of women in club houses. There are no photos in my clubhouse of women. I watch the professional women, inspired by their attitude, youth, image and impact. The latter needs to be at local club level to encourage the next generation of girls. But if girls and women don’t even see photos up in a club house I fear this is disenfranchising perhaps.
I am pleased my club is listening, but it’s gradual and I feel alone at club level. Albeit proud that I am making suggestions.
Thank you to this reader, who would like to remain anonymous for getting in touch. I wish I could say that this is an isolated incidence but the battle to gain access to competitions at weekends for working women seems to be a long fought issue.
I wish that I had some real nuggets of advice to give to this situation but as the reader has already stated it should be a simple case of giving equal access on competition days. Especially at a club where she is paying exactly the same fees as the working men.
One thing we need to do is to keep raising these issues and not just accept it as something that has always been done. We cannot drive growth in the women's game if we continue in this way.
Let's see what other readers have experienced and how they have dealt with the situation.
Have you had to deal with a similar situation and would be willing to give some advice? Join the discussion here or email [email protected]
Have your Letter to the Editor featured next
I often get emails from readers who want to raise questions or have opinions on certain topics and although I do aim to reply to all the emails, I don't always have the answers straight away.
It makes me think of the Letters section that featured in our print magazine. A place to air your views, comment on the latest controversy or celebrate a successful development at your golf club.
With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to start sharing some of your thoughts and opinions so that we can gather a greater understanding and viewpoint on the hot topics of the moment.
All you need to do is drop me an email [email protected] and we will share with the rest of the readership.
No topic is off-limits and if you want to remain anonymous then that's no problem.