The Gender Pay Gap in Golf


Last weekend the US Women’s Open held at Southern Pines, North Carolina saw Australian Minjee Lee take home not only the The Harton S. Semple Trophy but claiming the winner’s cheque of $1.8 million dollars. It was the first time ever, the top three finishers at the U.S. Women’s Open all received at least $685,000.

With the Men’s US Open tournament starting next week you can’t help but compare the projected payout for the top 3 men, where all three are looking at earning more than $1miillion:

1st Place - $2,700,000
2nd Place - $1,620,000
3rd Place - $1,020,000

The increased prize money at the US Women's Open was helped with a new sponsorship deals with Promedica the first title sponsor in the history of the Women’s Open, who now have a long term partnership with the event.

Looking at the price payouts for both men and the women you can see the gap is closing. A recent article on NBC Sport, shows that golf is one of the better sports in reducing the gender pay gap, looking at various sports and the huge gap difference that can be seen. The one noticeable difference is the gap in Basketball where the average NBA player made $5.3 million per season, according to Basketball Reference, while WNBA stars Diana Taurasi, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart earned a league-maximum $228,094.

You then look at one of the best women’s’ basketball players Brittney Griner who is currently being detained in Russia where she was intended to play for a Russian team to help increase her income.

It isn’t just tournament cheques that have a huge disparity. Rory Mcilroy’s TaylorMade deal, which he signed in 2017, is said to be worth $10m per year for 10 years. He is estimated to earn around $35m a year in total from his sponsorships alone. The top Female golfers in the world would struggle to sign deals for anywhere near this sort of value. The question is will that ever change for the top female golfers in the world? Looking at the next 10 years its difficult seeing huge sponsorship deals as seen for male golfers for many of their female counterparts.

There have been some instances lately where equal pay for men and women have been achieved. Take tennis where in all four grand slam events women receive the same as men, and also recently in women’s football the U.S. Soccer Federation reached a milestone agreement to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally, making the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes equal salaries.

But there are issues that remain which has an impact in the amount of money that a sport person can achieve. Women’s televised sporting events have seen an increase in viewers over the years, but still doesn’t have the same reach as what the men’s equivalent has. This has an impact on sponsorship deals.

Many sportsmen including tennis player Novak Djokovic believe that men should get paid more than women because they attract more spectators to their events. One of Djokovic’s old rivals disagreed, with Andy Murray a huge advocate for women’s rights felt especially in tennis stars like Serena Williams do attract high viewing figures and show that women can bring in spectators, both live and watching at home.

It is great to see that within golf the gender pay gap is reducing, it will be interesting to see what happens over the next 5 years and whether female golf can reach the heights of the men’s tour.

Here at PlayMoreGolf we do see a huge difference in membership, with more men being members and playing the sport. We would always encourage women to take up this amazing sport and hope to see female membership increase over the years. To explore all our clubs why not click here or if you are not yet a member why not get your golf membership started and join now.

Written by Stephen Page

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