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Australian Golf Strives For Gender Equity

Australian Golf Strives For Gender Equity

Reflecting on her time at the 2022 Women In Sport Summit, Australian Golf’s head of women and girls, Tiffany Cherry, sat down with Ministry of Sport to discuss how her organisation is creating ways to grow the women’s game.

Commenting on gender equity in Australian golf, Cherry said her organisation acknowledges that’s it’s not great in its current state, however, the organisation is committed to improving it.

“Our memberships are currently sitting at 18/82, that’s not per year, that’s 18% women and 82% men, there’s also the average age of a golfer, which is 60 years old, that’s the average of both male and female, but it’s actually a little bit older for women,” Cherry said.

“86% of golfers in Australia are non-golf, non-members and non-round players, which is where the average age goes down. Those are the types of alternate formats, which include the grassroots, the mini golf, driving range, and indoor golf. That’s where the great opportunity is and that’s where we start to see more gender equity in the sport,” she said.

Cherry also said it’s about changing the perception of golf. There’s currently 2.8 million women and girls interested in playing golf, however, they’ve never picked up a golf club, and now Australian Golf is aiming at providing those interested with options to get involved and create the gender parity they are seeking.

On the initiatives created to improve gender equity in golf, Cherry said over 10 years ago, the decision was made to have women and men play on the same course during the Victorian Open, where they wouldn’t play against each other, and would use different tees, but received the same amount of prize money.

“No national championships in the world has ever seen that, and for the very first time we’re having that in Australia this year. In the sand belt region, which is in Melbourne, Victoria, where we’re playing at the at the Victoria Golf Vlub and also at Kingston Heath,” Cherry said.

“Women and men are playing at the same time on the same courses, for the same prize money, the same billing, where a group of women tee off and then a group of men tee off, followed by women again and so on. That’s how we’re going to draw eyeballs, that’s how we’re going to generate create more fans grow the fan base,” she said.

Additionally, once the fanbase has been developed, Australian Golf can then start commercialising women’s golf through investments into programs that can continue building the sport.

To read the previous story from the Women In Sport Summit, where FIBA acting executive director of Oceania, Amanda Jenkins discussed how the governing body is prioritising the growth of women’s basketball, click here.

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