This was the year for the USGA to strike a blow for golf equality between the sexes, with the US Open and US Women’s Open are being played at the same venue, in back to back weeks.
Unfortunately, for their efforts playing the same setup at the same time, the men will split $8 million; the women, $4 million. Thus, the USGA is telling the world that—even under comparable conditions—women are half the men.
The rejoinder to this is that the men’s game earns more money than the women’s, through sponsorship and television dollars. Indeed, I think that’s a perfectly logical and reasonable position, but for one thing:
The USGA is not a for-profit corporation. It is a fully tax-exempt, charitable organization. It is the ruling body and the self-proclaimed chief steward of golf in the United States. It claims to be concerned with the future of the game. Under those conditions, I think such glaring inequality from the USGA is inexcusable.
I find it hard to believe that the USGA can’t find enough sponsors to level the purses. I don’t think they spend as much time or effort as they do with the men’s Open. But even if they can’t, then 4% of the $100 million annual payment the USGA is set to receive from FOX is not a bad price to pay for equality.
Bringing women into golf is critical for the future of the game. Statistically, women comprise more than half the population, and yet I see very few on the courses. If golf is going to survive the prophesied golfpocalypse, women need to be made as full participants in the game as men. By leveling the purse, the USGA can tell women that they have an equal place at the golf table; that they are more than eye candy for the covers of golf magazines and the pages of exploitative “golf” websites.
The USGA needs to be the steward for all golfers, and treat men and women equally.
1 thought on “USGA Says A Woman Is Worth Half Of What A Man Is Worth”
I agree, the usga is not to be a profit driven organization. It’s for the good of the game. It makes no sense for it to make a statement by “tiering” the men’s and women’s opens.