There is an assumption that events like the Vic Open and last weekend’s Scandinavian Mixed are predominantly focussed on raising the profile of women’s golf.
It would be oversimplifying things to say the accepted wisdom is that the men are somehow doing the women a favour by co-sanctioning such tournaments but, broadly speaking, that about sums up the sentiment.
The truth, however, is somewhat more nuanced and less cliched. In fact, I would argue that we all too often look at the game through the wrong lens – or series of lenses – when we try to divide it up this way.
As an administrator told me many years ago, the job of those in charge of the game is not to promote men’s or women’s or junior or professional or any other sort of golf. Their job is to promote golf, full stop.
"As an administrator told me many years ago, the job of those in charge of the game is not to promote men’s or women’s or junior or professional or any other sort of golf. Their job is to promote golf, full stop." - Rod Morri.
And that is precisely what the Scandinavian Mixed and the Vic Open and the innovative Players’ Series run earlier this year in Australia all do.
They are not about men’s or women’s golf. The crowds (in my experience) don’t go to focus solely on watching women or men. They go to watch golf.
The golf being played by every player in every one of those fields, men and women alike (and juniors in the case of the Players’ Series), is unrecognisable to the majority of us recreational hacks.
That is as true of the professional women in those fields as it is the men, the point being that ALL make a contribution to the spectacle.
There is no question the event in Sweden at the weekend raised the profile of the women who play professionally on the Ladies European Tour.
There is also no question the event in Sweden raised the profile of the men who play professionally on the European Tour.
Without seeing the viewing figures it’s impossible to say but it would be surprising if the tournament wasn’t among the top rating week-to-week European Tour events this year.
Both Tours are winners and, ultimately, golf overall is a winner which is the real story here.
There certainly appears to be an appetite among fans for more collaboration between the administrators of the men’s and women’s professional games and it is to be hoped more innovation is afoot.
A rising tide lifts all boats and surely the responsibility in this instance is to figure out ways to ensure the tide keeps rising?