Women in Golf – One Woman’s Perspective

I’ve been one of the women in golf and have been playing golf for 30 years now and have seen a lot of changes in the time. Two of the greatest have been the improvements in equipment and the numbers of women golfers and minority golfers.

When I took up golf in the 1980’s, graphite clubs were unheard of. Drivers and fairway clubs had wooden heads. The only wedges were sand wedges and pitching wedges. All golf balls were white. Golf shoes had metal spikes. There were steel shafts on clubs, however. My set consisted of a driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, 3 through 9 irons, PW, SW and putter.

New golf equipment is much more forgiving than the older sets. New drivers and fairway clubs have much larger heads than in the past and irons have a larger “sweet spot.” I upgrade my equipment every five years or so, of course many women in golf upgrade more or less often. I feel technology improves in that time so that new equipment is worth the investment that frequently. My set now consists of a driver, 5 wood, 7 wood, rescue wood, 5-9 irons, PW, SW, 50 degree wedge, 55 degree wedge and putter. Since I play mostly at Thousand Hills Golf Course, my set fits the game I play there. If I played a longer course, I would put my 3 wood back in my bag and take out a wedge. The rules of golf permit 14 clubs to be used in a round and the course you play should determine what those clubs will be.

When I first started playing, women in golf were not taken seriously. If I wanted to play a public golf course at 7 in the morning, I’d have one of my male friends call to make the tee time. If I called, the earliest one would be 10:30 or 11; but my male friends could get one early with no problem. The thought being that women would hold up play and the course would be behind all day. However in recent years, the demand for tee times has not been as great as was expected, so the golf industry reached out to people who had been ignored in the past—women in golf, minorities and youth golfers. Youth golf camps are available at some Branson Golf Courses to introduce children who may not otherwise have an opportunity to learn the game.

The role of women in golf is expanding and most golfers now welcome and expect to see women golfers more and more as time goes on.

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