I read a lot of golf books. Almost 100% of the time, I as a reader am assumed to be a man. Magazine articles are no different. They use headlines like, “hey fellas, rip your drives to impress your boss” and such. In general, the older the publication, the more completely male oriented it is. In all fairness, writers today do try to be inclusive, but sometimes they don’t realize that the way they refer to women is condescending.
In most of the golf media I read, watch, hear – the pronouns used are he, his, him. With few exceptions, the only time I run into she, her or hers is in some side reference to getting your wife out on the course and watching her struggle to get a 7-iron shot airborne or some other nonsense.
It may sound like a small, petty thing but to me it is not. I already feel outnumbered on the golf course. As much as I love the game, devote time to the game, practice the game – I don’t feel the regulars of the game respect my effort. It is just assumed that I either only golf because my husband/boyfriend dragged me into it, or that I just want to participate in a walking coffee klatch holding sticks, or that I suck.
Granted, some of the common stereotypes do exist. I will not deny it. There truly is nothing worse than getting behind a foursome of little old ladies, except maybe, getting behind a foursome of shuffling old farts. While the ladies yack before they shoot their four or five shots onto the green, the men take five minutes to set up their shot only to shank it off into the trees. We’ve seen it all out there. But my pace as a golfer is quite fast. If I see someone coming up behind, I move it along.
I just want to make the point that I am a serious golfer and I want to be included! I’m retired and at 57 years of age, I finally have the time to practice enough and play enough to actually lower my handicap. My handicap has dropped 14 shots from its highest to lowest point since I retired and joined a club two-and-a-half years ago. I won my club championship last year.
There aren’t as many of us by far, but we serious women golfers do exist. We study the game. We watch endless golf swing videos on youtube. We know the lingo. We know what we’re doing. We know what a fundamentally good golf swing is supposed to look like.
So writers, maybe use she, her and hers a bit more often?