Golf plan to help women end male dominance

Steve Larkin

Golf Australia has launched an ambitious plan to help women overcome the sport's male-dominated culture.

Alarmed by record-low levels of female golf memberships, GA has outlined a blueprint that aims for equal course rights for women.

Females number 20 per cent of all golf memberships in Australia - a historic low.

And the GA blueprint, dubbed Vision 2025, has identified male-dominant attitudes of many golf clubs as a factor.

"We would like to try and reduce the male-dominant culture that often exists in a lot of clubs," GA board member Jill Spargo said on Tuesday.

"And we would like to have equal access and equal rights in golf clubs.

"One of our young pros, who has been playing golf for nine years, made the comment last week that when she walks into a clubhouse she feels as though she's going into a principal's office.

"So there is a lot that we need to do to change that culture of our game."

GA chief executive officer Steven Pitt said golf had failed females in the past.

"We have got some important challenges as a sport and we need to recognise them," he said.

"We have in some ways I don't think done a very good job as a sport collectively catering for women and girls over a long period of time.

"There is certainly some benchmarks and markers that would indicate that is the case. We're aware of them and we need to try and fix them."

The four main pillars of the blueprint are culture and leadership - getting more women in senior golfing positions and granting equal rights.

Other pillars include grassroots participation, coaching - including increasing the number of female coaches - and changing the way the sport is perceived through marketing.