After Years of Being a Victim of Gender Stereotypes, LPGA Tour Makes a Drastic Decision on Its Own

Published 10/03/2023, 9:10 AM EDT

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The LPGA Tour is the biggest women’s golf tour in the world. Despite that, there’s a rarity in recognition and seven-digit payouts. On the other hand, PGA Tour golfers are enjoying all that leverage. The reason behind this is that a huge influx of money is invested in men’s golf compared to female golf.

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Back in August, we even saw LPGA Pro Mel Reid talking blatantly about this discrepancy and expressing her frustrations with it. Now, months after that, as the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup come to an end, the always-sidelined Tour has decided to take matters into its own hands to fill the growing monetary gap!

The LPGA Tour is actively seeking primacy in the golf world

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Over the past few weeks, the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup have been more team-centric than individual games. Hence, the drama and anticipation were at their peak, which the audience wanted to witness. But while the Ryder Cup got a television time of around 100 hours on US channels, the Solheim Cup, which featured the likes of Nelly Korda and Charley Hull, was streamed for only 25 hours on TV cable networks.

Though these are the most heralded and prestigious tournaments on both circuits, the inequality is evident. Hence, the LPGA Tour is planning on appointing a strategic advisor to get investments for both the profile and better coverage of events. 

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According to a recent report by the Independent, the commissioner of the tour, Mollie Marcoux Samaan, said, “I think we’re sitting on a gold mine.” She explained that the investment in the Ryder Cup had brought forth fruitful results, and if the Solhiem Cup received similar traction, they would see similar results too.

“When you start to look at the commercialization of the two [competitions], they become apples and oranges. There’s been tremendous investment in the Ryder Cup, and the results have followed because it’s a great product… I’m 100 percent convinced that if we got even a small percentage of the investment made in the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup could be a huge home run for players, for fans, for broadcasters, and sponsors,” she stated boldly.

Samaan is arguably more than right in her assessment of this. After all, in recent times, with what the LPGA has accomplished in terms of coverage, especially with their new accolade to flaunt, adding more money to the mix is bound to bring in a much better result!

The LPGA viewership is on a constant rise

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The LPGA Tour recently added a new laurel to its achievements lookbook. The league received a record television rating, with July being the most-watched month in LPGA history. Reports even say that the number of active audiences to watch the US Women’s Open held at the iconic Pebble Beach was greater than the Solheim Cup.

The iconic major championship recorded one million viewers for each of the Saturday and Sunday rounds on NBC. Even the Dana Open that followed the week after received around 1 million viewers for its final round on Sunday. It certainly seems like women’s golf is picking up pace, and at this point, like the commissioner suggested, an influx of investment could only help!

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What do you think of the discrepancy in men’s and women’s golf? And when will it subside, if ever? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Suchita Chakraborty

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One take at a time

Suchita is a golf writer for EssentiallySports who was chosen in the recent ‘ES Draft’ round for her in-depth coverage and knowledge of the sport. Even as a budding writer, she has captivated readers through her ability to bring the sport to life through her articles, especially when it comes to golf's latest hot topic, the merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. Suchita draws her inspiration from one of the legends in women’s golf, Annika Sorrenstam.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira

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