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A new study has revealed the extent of sexism in UK golf – and the results are worrying. 

Golf Care polled 2,011 UK residents on their views and participation in golf and 21 other sports.  

When asked whether gender inequality exists within UK golf, almost a quarter said they don’t believe it’s an issue. 

It comes following criticism of Tiger Woods, who handed a tampon to Justin Thomas during the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles.  

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Many people interpreted the gesture as inappropriate and a confirmation that sexist attitudes are still a problem in the professional game. 

The study found significant bias in TV viewing habits, with 28% of men saying they have watched men’s golf in the past, compared to just 11% who have watched the women’s equivalent.  

Just 58% of survey respondents agreed that women’s golf should have equal TV coverage to men. 

When asked about major golf tournaments, 55% of those surveyed said there should be a female version of the Masters.  


However, one in ten men disagree, arguing that the Masters should remain a men’s only golf competition. 

In addition, when asked about the gender pay gap in sport, a quarter of people said that male players deserve to be paid more than their female counterparts. This rose to 35% amongst male respondents.  

Additionally, almost one in ten people said that the opinions of female pundits are less valid than that of their male counterparts.

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This view was most prevalent among survey respondents aged 55 and over, whilst younger age groups were less inclined to agree. 

John Woosey, the gounder of Golf Care, said: “Although some progress has certainly been made to encourage female participation in golf, this data shows just how pervasive sexism is, both within golf and more widely throughout society.  

“For too long, golf clubs and the professional game have been seen as a ‘boy’s club’ and this needs to urgently change if golf is to have a place in the future of sport.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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