Fellas, stop kidding yourselves. The game played by golf’s best women is not, and never will be, ‘relatable’ to us male club golfers.
It may be ‘more relatable’ than the top men but that is a meaningless notion at best and insulting at worst.
One assumes this concept of ‘relatability’ is to do with the fact the stars of the LPGA and LET don’t hit the ball as far as the men on the PGA and European Tours.
But you would need to be wilfully ignorant to believe this somehow put the skills of the game’s best women somewhere closer to the club golfer than their male counterparts.
Whenever I hear this case put – and it is not unusual to hear professional women repeat it – I am reminded of the 2020 Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville.
Many readers (assuming there is more than one?) will be familiar with the Bonville course, a popular golf destination on the NSW North Coast.
"You would need to be wilfully ignorant to believe this (distance) somehow put the skills of the game’s best women somewhere closer to the club golfer than their male counterparts." - Rod Morri.
As is always the case, the opportunity to see a professional field tackle a course you’ve played more than once yourself adds an extra element of interest.
I was fortunate to be working that week at Bonville and can attest firsthand (having played the course several times) that the game played by that field in no way resembled anything seen on my previous trips.
For context, the course played 5,715 metres for the tournament against a possible full yardage of 6,079 metres.
Over 72 holes, the winner Steph Kyriacou (ironically, an amateur at the time) amassed 23 birdies and two eagles against three bogeys and a double.
In Friday’s second round she posted a nine-under 63 (both her eagles for the week came in that round) and on the first nine holes Sunday she made six birdies to be out in 29.
Does that sound ‘relatable’?
While Kyriacou won by eight shots (and to be fair, many in the field would have found her game that week ‘unrelatable’ as well), is it more ‘relatable’ that 39 players finished under par for the 72 holes?
78 players made the cut at two-over-par. There are likely not much more than a handful of golfers at most clubs capable of playing 36 holes at that number, particularly on a foreign course set up in tournament conditions.
The point here is that while it is generally meant in good faith, this ‘more relatable’ idea actually undersells the extraordinary talents of the game’s best women players.
While it is seen by some as a good marketing tool, the game would be better off if we simply stopped saying it.