As the dust settles after this weekend’s AIG Women’s Open, Charlotte reflects on just how much it meant for women’s golf.
I haven’t been to a women’s championship for a few years. And I’ll be honest, I don’t even watch very much golf on TV – men’s or women’s (I know, I know, I’m sorry).
I’ve always felt that women’s tournaments just feel like a smaller version of the men’s.
But it was a different story this weekend. The AIG Women’s Open honestly blew me away.
It was buzzing, it was exciting. The festival village was great. The demographic of the crowds was totally different.
It was, tournament organisers The R&A promised: Golf opened up.
It just felt like a cool place to be. And that’s impressive, and exactly what’s going to push women’s golf to the next level.
The winds of change are blowing – rapidly
If this weekend’s AIG Women’s Open proved anything, it’s that women’s golf has gone through a seismic shift – and it’s only getting better.
The crowds were bigger than any previous year, and as I’ve already said, the demographic of the people who came to watch was different too. There were families and children, women, men, young and old. You only had to watch a few minutes of the TV coverage to see that. (On that point, the TV coverage was much better than usual, too.)
In line with the rest of the year’s Majors, the players were competing for a record prize money payout.
And the standard of golf was insane. You don’t really appreciate it until you see these players up close in real life. They are all-round athletes, with the physical and mental strength to match their brilliant golfing ability.
Charley Hull would have known what impact her win would have on women’s golf, especially in this country. And she absolutely embraced it.
“We have to make birdies” she was heard saying to her caddie as she attacked another approach shot coming down the final stretch of holes against Lilia Vu.
What it all adds up to is this: Women’s golf is finally getting the respect it deserves.
And that’s how we grow the game; how we get more girls and women into golf – and keep them in the sport for the long term.
I for one am excited to see what the future of women’s golf holds.
Missed any of the action from the AIG Women's Open? Catch up here >