It has been a big week for women in golf. After Augusta, there was a lot of talk about how women in business can be excluded from important social networks by not hanging out with bigwigs on the links. Condoleeza Rice may be as famous now for being the first woman into Augusta National Golf Club as being the first African American female Secretary of State. Allowing women into the elite golf club was about more than golf; it was about allowing women to play with the big boys.
There is always an interesting consequence of women breaking these barriers. Future young women and girls won’t even know there was once a barrier. It means that girls can play golf without ever thinking about the possibility of being excluded. Most golfers will never play at courses like Augusta. Most play on their local, public golf course. But now, for girls, there is no end point. No place where they are automatically excluded because of their anatomy.
And, as with many sports, there are a lot of great things about golf for girls. According to a great article about “Girls, Golf, and Fitness”, playing 18 holes involves walking at least four miles, which is healthy for everyone. Plus, it provides an opportunity for girls to exercise and be active with their families. For my daughter, for whom socializing is an art form, playing a game where you can interact with others is ideal. Thanks to Title IX, there are golf teams at most high schools, and because girls have been traditionally underrepresented in golf, there are quite a few golf scholarships to go around.
So for the price of a set of junior clubs, and $8.00 course fees (for a round at my local course), my kids can get exercise, family fun, and a useful skill for their future lives as CEOS (ok, I will settle for Secretary of State). Not bad.