As the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship gets underway this week, one the Ladies European Tour’s brightest talents has pointed out the growing disparity between the men’s and women’s games.
Meghan MacLaren, who won her maiden LET title at the Women's New South Wales Open last March, has often used her Twitter account to raise awareness of gender inequality in professional golf – and her latest tweet on the subject has caused a huge commotion on the platform.
Comparing the prize money on offer at last week’s Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi to the cash up for grabs in this week’s men equivalent event, MacLaren tweeted:
two main tour events in the same country, one week after each other...— Meghan MacLaren (@meg_maclaren) January 15, 2019
one prize fund $293,000
one prize fund $7,000,000 #spotthedifference 🙎🏻♀️🙎🏻♂️
The responses to the post ranged from sympathetic to, well, not.
First, the sympathetic:
It's shocking - the female players are just as skillful and work as hard. It was such a shame to see so few people @SaadiyatBeachGC watching the @FBMLadiesOpen there was some awesome golf being played— Steve Brecken (@Brecks71) January 15, 2019
Somehow need to get more women and men watching the Ladies European Tour at the events and on TV. I saw @ANNIKA59 at Woburn years ago and ever since I've thought there's more to be learnt watching the best women golfers than the best men.— Paul Lovesey (@LoveseyPaul) January 15, 2019
Bigger Sponsors. That’s all; LPGA is doing a great job catching up with sponsors and people watching. We watch LPGA and we support the game as a whole; but winning purse has a lot to do with sponsors and TV ratings. Your commissioner is working hard to fix that.— Luckswing (@Luckyswing5) January 15, 2019
And ‘the not’…
Prize money is dictated by the amount of money sponsors/TV throw at it. That figure is dictated by demand. Demand to watch womens golf is not as high as men’s golf. Simple. Just one of those things. Do we really need to pull at the sexist thread for this one?— Dan Kilsby (@DanKilsby) January 15, 2019
Stop trying to make it something that it’s not. It’s down to product, one is better than the other. It’s business Nothing else.!!— Cian Geraghty (@ciangeraghty) January 15, 2019
It is as simple as people are pointing out sponsorship is based on the amount of people watching the program. By your own logic every footballer should be pay the same! Their not!— Kyle Cooper (@Kyle9083) January 16, 2019
Meg I do hear you but you can't compare these two events like others. I looked at the numbers and the LET had 5% of top 100 and 12% of top 200 against the ET having 20% of top 100 and 48% of top 200 playing. So in this case it's more about strength of field then men vs women.— Stuart Archibald (@stuartarchibald) January 16, 2019
That has prompted MacLaren to expand on her thoughts in a lengthier post this morning.
What do you make of the pay gap? And what’s the solution? Leave your thoughts in our Comments section below.