Women vs. Men: the putting green is evening out.
Women vs. Men: the putting green is evening out.
The world of golf has long been dominated by MEN. We would even go so far as to prohibit women from our courses. For the longest time, the LPGA was right up there with what the WNBA is now. Who cares? But times, they are a changing.
We all know the top earners for the men over the past few years: Tiger, Phil, Ernie, and Vijay, but wait. Unless you are among the people in-the-know, you are not aware of the other people that are on top of the money list. The average Joe has no idea who Jim Furyk, David Toms, and Adam Scott are. You could even argue that the vast majority of the United States has no idea who Retief Goosen is despite him being number eight on the money list. This is not said to put down the men’s PGA tour, but pointing out that as name recognition goes, women are pretty darn close.
Annika, being the most dominant of the women in the LPGA, is one of the most recognizable women athletes in the nation. “You go girl.” Contrary to many other sports the LPGA has not only allowed minors participate, they have encouraged it. As a result, you have players like 16 year old Michelle Wie who recently signed endorsement deals with Sony and Nike that rival most men’s contracts. Morgan Pressel, 17, has people excited after winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur Title. At 19 Paula Creamer was rookie of the year in ‘05 with 10 top ten finishes. The fresh young mix and the grizzled vets of the LPGA make for exciting golf. If you need further proof, just check out the number of blogs devoted to female golfers on the right.
These women are not anomalies or something created by media, but awesome golfers! They are already throwing themselves into the mix at a few men’s PGA Tour events. Within, the next few years they will be competing for wins at these tournaments. It is an inspiring show of talent and equality.
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I doubt if the huge galleries following her around and the larger TV audience viewing the event are polarized much about Michelle. They want to see her play golf. Look at the attendance ratings on both fronts after she misses a men's cut.
Nike and Sony invested for her appeal to a market group that didn't exist before in professional sports. Crossover appeal.
Annika, Paula, Morgan, Natalie and Lorena all have fans; most of whom were fans of golf. Michelle has the same appeal Tiger had when he hit the PGA tour. The appeal to create new fans and new golfers and also raise the bar on prize money at events. When Michelle wins (and she will) interest in women's golf will go thru the roof.
When I play a round, I notice there are dozens of little girls, with their parents in tow out on the range practicing the Michelle Wie swing.
I didn't notice as many little girls practicing last year, did you?
"little girls" like you obviously do. Second of all, my name is not Kimo sabe, and third where is all the prize money you speak of? There has been no noticable change. The only noticable change in money is in Michelle's pocketbook. Television ratings are not up in LPGA events, attendence may be up, but you are looking at events in Hawaii where Michelle is from, no suprise there. I agree there is more of a buzz around ladies golf, but my response was to Mr. Myers blog and his contention that women's golf was somehow equal to the clearly superior product that is the men's game. I also responded to his claim that women will be competing to win on the men's tour, which is ludicrous, and david you did say WILL. One-Putt your points are well taken, but in the future don't start off debates with name calling, thanks.
I am just as interested watching Tiger, Phil, Fred, Vijay, Ernie, Retief, Sergio, Long John and Bubba as Annika, Paula, Christie or Michelle when they play hard and put forward their best effort in a match.
It all comes down to my being a fan of the game of golf (that I also love to play) and not the band wagon fan of the current long bomber to show up.
When Tiger's game is off and he somehow will place himself in a position to win at the end of a match, is far more exciting to watch than his winning by fifteen strokes. Dubai was a prime example.
Even though you haven't been paying attention to the TV figures and attendance increase at PGA or LPGA events Michelle plays in on the tour. I can assure you the bean counters at the Networks and within the Sponsor's boardrooms have not missed the numbers.
Why do you think Arnold Palmer's little network anted up $600,000,000 for the rights to broadcast golf events starting in 2007? The man with the Midas touch knows the figures and the potential for growth within the game.
Sorry, but by so blithely stating that women will be competing for wins on the PGA Tour in a few years you've lost credibility. I hear Twilight Zone music playing.
Also, I have some food for thought. One-Putt said that he likes watching good golf played by anyone. Okay. Well, the men's Asian tour is better than the LPGA, so why not focus on it more than the latter? Why not focus on the Nationwide Tour or the top male amateurs more?
Let's face it: it's conditioning and hype that garners the women the modicum of attention they receive.
There's something else. If women "can make cuts by the end of the year," they can do so now. After all, their capabilities won be changing much between now and then.
Secondly, there are no "women" who have a chance of making PGA cuts. Rather, there is one woman who has a chance to: Michelle Wie. Most of the other gals would have trouble breaking 80 on a PGA Tour layout, and even Sorenstam would have to capture lightning in a bottle to do it once.
As far as Wie goes, I have said that she will make a cut eventually, however, she still doesn't belong on the men's tour.
You really need to get your medication adjusted.
David Meyers said that women will be able to make a cut at the end of the year. It is absolutely obvious that Michelle is capable of doing this at the moment, so his statement is definetely factually correct.
However I think the sentiment expressed suggests that many women will be joining the pga, and I don't think this will happen soon.
It may well happen in a few years, because young girls watching Michelle Wie are probably realising that it is possible, and many should be inspired.
I think in the short term, Michelle Wie is the only pga prospect.
As Under Par said, most lpga women would struggle to break 80.
Wie is the exception.
I didn't even think about the physical maturation. That is a great point.
It is actually a word.
I didn't think you could use it like that.
Back to the point, Jackson is right that it is unrealistic to expect lots of women to be competing for pga titles.
Michelle Wie is the only realistic prospect at the moment, and that depends on her continuing to develop her game as she has been doing.
david meyers - Were you being sarcastic?
That wasn't a very good try at a save. No, I refuted your point. Moreover, I have ALWAYS said that Wie "could" make a cut. However, I also believe that the odds are against her doing so at a given PGA Tour event.
I think that Bubba Watson and JB Holmes are exceptions.
Sure there will be a couple more, but I don't think there will be many guys like that. So I don't think length will stop Wie from competing out there.
I think the reason is simple enough. Strength isn't such a big issue, nor should it be.
In my opinion, they should do something to curb the length because it is ruining so many golf courses. Just how far can they keep pushing tees back.
If it keeps going, they will probably start providing bugies to bring the guys around, because it would take so long to walk. That or cut the number of holes. Or how about make them all par 3's. All 400 yard par 3's at that.
Sorry if I suggested that JB and Bubba were exceptions.
What I actually meant was that they are exceptions at the top of the game. By the top I mean the top pga level and probably able to compete for some titles.
They still are nowhere near the big 5 as of yet.
I think many of the big hitters won't make it at all. In fact over the next few years, I expect the trend to continue of most people who qualify from q school, going back there at the end of the season. So I think the pga tour membership will have much of the same membership in 5 years time as it does now. There won't be that many big hitters who join and stay.
Also, there will be plenty of guys who hit it a decent length, but have the talent in the other parts of their games.
The point is that the game is becoming ever more competitive. Thus, over time, the length of the average drive on the PGA Tour will increase. I suspect that in five years you won't see players in the Pavin/Mize/Cook mold on the tour anymore. The average size on tour will also increase.
In other words, your going to see the ascendancy of players who have the kind of prodigious length we're talking about AND the rest of the game as well.
There are other sports that are non-contact that women are much more inferior to men compared to golf. The stage here is geared more towards talent than strength. Check out Tiger. When he popped into the tour he was averaging 10-15 yards more on his drives. As he has aged he doesn't have the flexibility but has gotten better with his short game, and won at a higher rate.
First of all, Woods hasn't lost any flexibility. The reason why he's not hitting it as far is that he has tightened his swing for the purposes of increasing his control, and he has spoken of this on numerous occasions.
While this doesn't relate to golf, it does pertain to widening gaps between the sexes. While doing research for an article on feminist junk science, I was investigating the progression of world record running times and learned something I didn't know. Namely, the gap between men and women in many events actually WIDENED during the last fifteen years (contrary to popular spin), perhaps because the women can no longer get away with using steroids.
Anyway, I'm pretty informed on these issues, but that was something that even I hadn't figured on.
Under Par and Ford,
I heard it come straight from Tiger's mouth that his length has been shortened by his flexibility by age. I don't know what else to tell you. His swing speed has decreased as a result. The stats Ford gave are interesting, but why would Tiger say that if he didn't see his length diminishing somewhat.
Yes, I know all about his workouts, they are becoming legendary. His strength is amazing, but this does not necessarily translate to distance. I am not trying to bring down Tiger, just pointing out that the girls are good.
Also, Michelle Wie hits over 300 regularly. Her strength is nothing compared to myself yet she does it. I average about the same, how does that make sense if I am much stronger? It is because of her amazing flexibility. Just watch her extension, it's beautiful.
Maybe I am living in a dream world, but it is my world. It is quite possible, but I see women getting stronger and better. Michelle Wie hasn't even come close to her potential, yet she puts up numbers that make you think, "Yeah, she will probably make a cut this year."
If the novelty of women competing in men's events doesn't wear off, I don't see why she couldn't be in the top ten in a few years.
I don't care what Woods said, he's not old and you don't lose flexibility at such a young age when you train. Don't you realize how much stretching these guys do?
Anyway, I suspect that you misunderstood what Woods was saying. He probably was referring to the fact that he had "tightened" his swing.
If you guys honestly believe that women aren't catching men, I don't know what golf tournaments you are watching.
The reality is that Tiger a few years ago could have handled anyone playing the game now, including the Tiger of these days.
The mens game has gone backwards if anything, but Annika has obviously taken the womens game on.
Obviously Annika is well out ahead on the womens side we are waiting for all the promising young talent to catch up to her.
Another point is that people keep noting Annikas failure to make the cut at the Colonial as some sort of proof that women cannot compete.
Annika is obviously the best player on the lpga, but it is very obvious that Michelle Wie is far better than Annika on a pga course.
Michelle Wie certainly has plenty of potential to play well on the pga tour. Annika doesn't have the necessary assets to do this.
For women to compete on the pga tour, they need to be more like Michelle than Annika. Hopefully as young girls watch Wie's exploits, they will be inspired, and follow her lead.
That is when David's prediction can most definetly come to fruition.
As regards Wie, whether she makes a mens cut this year, or whenever, it is pretty obvious that she has the game to compete out there.
Did you know that in the 1972 Olympics, women could only run something like 1500 metres. That was the longest race that they were thought capable of running in.
Obviously times have changed. Just because people at one time thought that that was their limitation didn't mean it was, and just because some people don't think they can compete against men at a high level in golf doesn't mean that is true either.
Name one person please.
The question was very relevant in showing that the bar is not been raised at the top on the pga tour.
Tiger has come back to the rest, as opposed to them catching up.
Surely you know that Annika has dramatically improved the standard at the top of the womens game.
Of course that won't matter unless the girls catch her.
I think that they will and when that happens, if there is a female with Annika's ability, but with better length, then there is absolutely no reason why she can't make it on the pga tour. Or would you disagree that a longer stronger Annika would succeed.
Indeed, when I watch pairs compete, it seems like it is the men who are more likely to screw up when performing the same elements than the women are. Only the very best men are really really good.
I agree with most of what you say, but I have to correct one thing, something that you mentioned in passing. It's a myth that women don't receive equal pay for equal work. When the results of the sexes' different lifestyle choices (e.g., choosing to work fewer hours, declining promotions citing familial obligations) are eliminated from the equation, women earn almost as much, as much, or a bit more than men do, depending on which study you believe. This has been well established, by the way, although you'd never know it listening to the mainstream media.
Firstly in the Alex versus Johnny N argument, I think it is pretty obvious that the Tiger of 2000 would beat anyone playing the current game easily. And yes that includes the Tiger of 2005.
However, even though the very top player has gone downward, I think the standard of the overall tour has probably gone up, although not that much.
There is no doubt that the lpga is catching the pga. However, in my opinion that is only because the lpga is starting from such a low base in comparison.
Huge numbers of men have been playing the game of golf at the highest level for many years. It is very different for the women.
At the moment you have some very good professional players in the womens game. However the standard below them isn't that high. You don't have strength in depth.
On the mens side there is a much better infrastructure and the strength in depth is massive.
That is part of the reason why you have good female players breaking through at young ages, because the overall standard of the tour is not that high.
There was a very similar situation in womens tennis a few years ago, where many top young players came through very quickly and got to the top of the game. Martina Hingis was world number 1 at 16 years of age in tennis. However, as this crop of youngsters matured they stayed at the top, and these days there are very few youngsters breaking through to the top of womens tennis.
I predict that womens golf is going through a similar phase and that in a few years, youngsters will find it much harder to break through to the top levels of the lpga.
Why is this important?
Because when you have a bigger quantity of women at the top level of their potential ie. women who train properly, eat properly and get the relevant coaching from a young age and these women mature, then there will be more strength in depth on the lpga.
At that stage, you would have more women at the golfing level that Annika is currently at.
When you have more women at this level, it is only the law of averages that some of them will be stronger, as Wie is.
What does that mean?
That means you have women players who would certainly be capable of competing on the pga tour.
2000 = 9 from 20 events = 45%
2005 = 6 from 21 events = 28%
Top 10 finishes:
2000 = 17 from 20 events
2005 = 13 from 21 events
His winning percentage is 28% versus 45%. That is certainly a decline. It is still great, but it is certainly a decline from where he used to be.
A longer, stronger, better Annika would absolutely make it on the PGA tour, in fact they make it on the tour every week, their called men.
The fact is that a woman can achieve what Annika has as regards accuracy and putting etc.
The fact is that Michelle Wie has the extra length and strength.
Therefore, if you put these two things together, then you have a woman who is capable of competing on the pga tour.
In my opinion, that is only a matter of time. In my opinion, Wie is the best current hope of doing this since she already has the necessary strength, if she can develop some of the parts of her game which lack in comparison to Annika, then Michelle will have absolutely no problem in either getting or keeping a pga tour card.
Reading through the text a couple of times, I'm having trouble finding where Johnny N. said that the guys game was in freefall.
I don't agree with him that the mens game as a whole is going down, but certainly he is right that the standard of the best player is by far gone downward.
As regards JB Holmes, I can tell you from personal experience that if he persists with his style of swing, none of the other players will have to worry about him very much, because he is heading for lots of injuries and some serious time out. My old swing was very similar to his, well it put pressure on similar parts of the body. His body may hold up to it for a year or two. He is only 23, but it catch up on him.
Since Michelle Wie would certainly have no problem in getting and retaining a PGA tour card and all her fans realize this fact, why can't the dinosaurs at the PGA realize it also and forgo their archaic rules and just award her a PGA tour card?
Because Michelle would only have no problem getting and retaining a pga tour card if parts of her game get to Annika's standards.
That looks likely, but is not a foregone conclusion, but if her general game improves to that of Annika she won't have any problem getting that tour card.
So Alex, have some patience.
Bubba Watson qualified for the tour for the first time as a 27 year old. Michelle has lots of time to develop her game.
And by the way, Michelle will only get her tour card by qualifying.
Be that doing it the Tiger way or going through q-school, the nationwide or some other tour.
I don't think anyone has argued that they should be given a free pass. It is simply my opinion that she will succeed.
I'm glad you've finally seen the light. It just goes to show you, there's hope for all of us -- maybe even me. After all, my thinking has started to broaden, meaning, I now am more partial to the broads.
For instance, some have correctly pointed out that Woods' results now pale in comparison to those of 2000. Of course, there are those who would say that his competition might have gotten better, but we all know that such reasoning is completely illogical. Some might also say that his 2000 was a banner season, one of those rare years that even one of the greatest will only enjoy once in a blue moon. But we know that such folderol shouldn't even be dignified with a response. I mean, if Woods weren't in a decline, he'd win nine times every year.
We also know that men as a group are in steep decline and we are witnessing the ascendancy of Femaledom. Men's genes are becoming degraded, and in a couple of generations even the best of us will have been reduced to cretins rocking back and forth in rooms with no sharp objects.
So, I agree with you, Alex. Your thinking has evolved so rapidly that you've transcended even the ethereal-minded Norman. The student has become the teacher. We really should cut to the chase and award the top ten women PGA Tour cards. Why, it is obviously ridiculous to try to stave off the inevitable, for the wave of the future cannot long be resisted. These superior creatures called women are finally spreading their wings, and it's time for us Neanderthal men to recede and fade into the sunset. Ahh, resignation can be so liberating, don't you think?
Alex, I think that you and I have finally attained enlightenment.
I am speaking from personal experience in discussing JB Holmes. Trust me, he is putting too much pressure on his lower back and if his he doesn't change his swing, he is heading for plenty of time on the sidelines.
Also, your naming of the latest winners shows just how poor your arguments are. Anyone can name the winners over the last few weeks.
Perhaps you should remember that Sean O'Hair had a great season last season, and he only missed 4 cuts in 29 events.
So far this year he has missed 4 cuts in 4 starts.
He also played the Mercedes where only Jason Gore's four round average of 80 finished behind him.
I hope Sean does well this year. He is a good guy, but it just shows that you shouldn't get too cocky about the latest winners.
By the way JB Homes is a fine player and one of the best prospects around. He not only showed his stuff at q-school, he has also shown it in each event since then and he has the general golf game to be a very top player. I still think he needs to address his swing though, which is great, but too punishing on his body for the good of his career.
Back at the Sony Open, many people made a big to do about David Toms shooting a 61. That was a pretty fair score, but they forget that just the previous day, Michelle had a spectacular 68! All she needed to do was score seven more birdies and she too would have rung up a 61. Five more birdies and an eagle would have done it too.
Actually the conditions were far better in the 3rd round. The best score in the 2nd round was 64.
Michelle's performance can only be measured against that, not a 3rd round 61 in easier conditions. It cannot be measured against a day that she was not playing.
As regards even measuring her against even the best score 64 on day 2, you can do that because you hold her in such high esteem.
Us normal Wie-fanatics, would rather measure her against the field as a whole, where she shot a better score than 126 members of the field, was equal with 6 players and only 11 players shot a better score than her. Now that impresses most people, but maybe for you isn't quite enough.
That you for your knowledge.
It is nice that you have informed us that Vijay Singh has had 18 top ten finishes in 2006.
I think this is an absolutely remarkable achievement, particularly when you take into account that there have only been about 5 events. 18 top 10 finishes in just 5 events sure is something to be proud of.
On the other point, just because Michelle Wie is capable of becoming a pga tour player doesn't mean that everyone else is useless.
JB is likely to more wins on the pga tour than Michelle in my humble opinion. I guess that maybe Alex will probably make a 17 pga wins in a season prediction for Michelle though.
So that will probably be quite hard for JB to beat or get close to.
I didn't mean any ridicule, I merely meant jest.
As regards pga majors, I think Padraig Harrington will win a major pretty soon.
There are some other guys in there with a good chance also to win their first majors.
I don't rate Michelle as a contender for a pga major in the next 5 years. If she were to qualify for one in that time, I would be pleasantly surprised.
I do think she will win an lpga major before or at 20, and I'd be very hopeful of her winning one before or at 18 years old.
I don't particularly like predicting major win timeframes for people who have yet to make a pga cut.
I do think she will make a cut soon enough though, and if she plays the allowed 8 sponsors exemptions on the pga in a full season, that will leave people in a much stronger position to predict just how successful she can be. For the moment, I predict that she will make pga cuts and can qualify for the pga tour within the next 10 years or so.
Also, would "competing to win" be playing in the last four groups on Sunday within four strokes of the lead? Now, what really needs needs explanation as far as I'm concerned is how these four females and possibly others as well are going to be able to play on the PGA tour in the first place. Sponsors' exemptions will only cover a few spots on the tour in a year, and from what I've heard , the executive committee of the PGA is loath to make a "traveling circus" of its tour. David, putting all joking and far-fetched speculation aside, how are these things that you predict ever going to come to fruition? And particularly in a "few years"?
I really tend to doubt that David actually believes that there's a handful of women who will be in contention in PGA events in a few years. Rather, I think it likely that he simply is trying to be controversial for the purposes of attracting attention and evoking responses. People in the media are infamous for such practices.
I think it is pretty obvious too that there won't be a handful of women competing on the pga in a few years.
Wie is the only realistic chance and she has work to do.
I am being serious. Do I think they will win? Probably not any time soon. If the trend continues though,(giving exemptions for women to enter men's events) I think there will be a women within four strokes at the end of the final day. My guess would be within the next 3 years. I understand all the arguments against, and I think they are a bit arrogant and ignorant. The sport of golf really does allow for a more even playing field. This is not a sport where brute force is necessary. Yes, it is a portion, but not the end all. Throwing around insults and sarcasm doesn't interest me. I see what I see. As a coach who is hired out to help highschool golfers with their game, I see that girls without brute strength can play with boys. They rely more on flexibility, and score pretty well.
My question for the world is: Why not?
I admit that it might be this way at the moment.
But a couple of months ago, I said on these blogs that Paula Creamer was working on her distance over the break. People ridiculed me at the time, but if you check out recent articles, it is there in black and white. I was right, that she had been working on her distance.
This will help her on the lpga tour next season, and will bring her much closer to Annika. How close is hard to predict.
But I think she will continue working on her length and instead of one of those Japanes womens events that she wins with ease, I think she will enter a mens event in Asia. But she will enter when she is able to compete and really able to make an impression.
I'm not sure about a 3 year timeframe, because she wants to dominate the lpga first, before beating the top men out of it.
I wonder what your response will be. After all, that's how you separate those with conviction from those who just blow smoke.
If Wie takes that up in the next 3 years, then David has a chance of being right. But she delays longer than that, then David's prediction is highly unlikely.
If you were to give any of the top men just 2 or 3 events on the pga in a season, how many of them would be within 4 shots of the lead on the final day?
Very few I would think, probably Tiger and a couple of others and that would be it.
So I guess your answer means you're not willing to put your money where your mouth is.
I have tried to ignore ya, but since you are so persistent:
There would have to be stipulations. As long as women continue to get the opportunity and continue to try, I would then put money on it. Because there is no guarantee to this, how would the bet be made?
Interesting, you didn't qualify your initial prediction. So I guess you're just blowing smoke.
In fairness to David, I think his conditions are very fair.
If someone were not to play in an event, how could they compete for it?
I think Wie is very likely to play in events anyway, so Under Par, the stipulation that David is asking for, is pretty much a given to happen anyway.
My point is that David didn't mention that condition in his piece. If you make an outrageous statement and are serious about it (as opposed to blowin' smoke), you mention all the conditions upon which its verity rests so as to not end up with egg on your face.
Yes, you're tired. You should take a break from writing.
I recommend therapy. You obviously have far too much anger stored up. At the slightest hint of an argument, you take it to the extreme. No worries though, I'll still love you.
Thanks, you understand what I am getting at. Have a good weekend.
There's no anger with respect to this at all. I don't think you're a bad guy nor do I feel any hostility toward you, and, really, it's just a trivial matter. However, when someone makes an outrageous statement and implies that my opposition to it is misguided, I, out of a desire to illustrate where the truth lies, will challenge him to put his money where his mouth is. The fact that I'm willing to tells astute observers that I have good reason to believe my position is correct. Moreover, if the other fellow isn't willing to pick up the gauntlet, those same observers will conclude that he doesn't really believe what he is saying.
I love you, too (in a Christian sense), and I hope you have a great -- and truthful -- weekend.
I'll have David and Norman talk to that clerk . . . just as soon as I get that therapy that David has prescribed for me.
For David's bet, he simply wants to say that if he is betting on something, that his chosen competitor competes or he doesn't lose the bet.
With the bookmaker I use, if I bet on a race and a horse doesn't run, then the bookmaker gives the money back.
Alex, if your bookmaker doesn't give you your money back in that case, then perhaps I could give you the name of mine.
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