Lewis laments missed opportunity for golf

Growing Golf
Stacy Lewis

US Team Captain Stacy Lewis was asked whether golf had missed a trick not connecting this week’s Solheim Cup and next week’s Ryder Cup.

“1,000 percent yes,” she said. “We tried to do a little bit with the guys and just weren’t able to.”

The events, which typically take place in alternate years, coincided two years ago when the covid pandemic forced the postponement of the 43rd Ryder Cup matches at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. Next year the Solheim Cup matches will be played once again, from which point it will be staged every two years.

Lewis’s comments tie in with our latest report - Golf & Social Media: Engaging Women - which says that greater visibility of women’s golf will help attract more female players.

Speaking about the prospect of more women’s golf on TV, BBC Sport’s Golf Correspondent, Iain Carter, said: “I think the biggest problem golf has is that it’s not treated as golf, it’s men’s golf and women’s golf. And that separation just hampers the sport.

“If you look at tennis and the grand slams, where men and women compete on the same timetable (…) the tennis players are treated as tennis players, they’re equally part of the product, they’re equally remunerated, and that message filters down.

“I think that kind of thing has to happen in golf but it is very difficult to achieve, particularly under the corporate structure that golf operates under.”

Previous Syngenta market research findings indicate the perception that golf is a male-dominated sport and unwelcoming to women, especially beginners, is only reinforced by a predominance of men’s golf on TV.