The gender politics of sex integrated sport: the case of professional golf

Bowes, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5635-106X, 2022. The gender politics of sex integrated sport: the case of professional golf. In: G. Molnár and R. Bullingham, eds., The Routledge handbook of gender politics in sport and physical activity. Routledge international handbooks . London: Routledge, pp. 160-168. ISBN 9780367555221

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It has been well documented in the sport of golf that two participation trends exist: participation figures are continuously declining across the globe; and the number of men competing in the sport far outweighs women in most contexts. In response to these issues, the sport has looked to provide innovative solutions to retain and attract new golfers and promote the sport to women. One strategy has been the development of innovative golf tournaments, including at the professional level. One such tournament format involves men and women competing against each other. This mixed-sex competition strategy is interesting in multiple respects. As sport is one of the few social institutions that continues to segregate by sex, it is expected that men and women operate in separate spaces in the sporting world. Throughout history women’s participation in golf has not always been welcomed nor taken seriously, and golf cultures have normalised exclusionary and discriminatory practices towards women. However, golf has been identified as a sport with a potential to embody gender equitable practices. This is evidenced at a recreational level, through the use of the handicap system. On the other hand, when women compete in men’s professional tournaments, the tee boxes are adjusted for the male and female competitors. This chapter will present a critical discussion on the gender politics at play during sex integrated professional golf tournaments. It will examine the complexities of sex integration in golf by interrogating notions of the ‘naturalness’ of sex differences, the use of different tee boxes, and the unusualness of men and women competing in the same event, for the same trophy.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Bowes, A.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: London
Date: 2022
ISBN: 9780367555221
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 31 May 2023 08:08
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2024 03:00

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