The Corner

Hmmmm…I’m Beginning to Feel More Like Myself Now…

A reader on fairness and golf:

I saw your comment about Sorenstam and thought I’d raise a point that I think has been overlooked-basic fairness.

Sorenstam was offered an exemption to play in the Colonial, and that’s fine. But there is a potential problem in mixing male and female golfers-women are sometimes given an unfair advantage. For example, consider a report about golfer Susan Whaley:

“Connecticut club pro Suzy Whaley has said she will play in the Greater Hartford Open in July. She qualified by winning a PGA of America sectional tournament, even though she was allowed to hit from a shorter set of tees.”

In other words, she took a spot from a golfer who had to play a longer course than she did (her course was 10 percent shorter). And this is not unusual.

Recently, a female won the Virginia high school golf title even though she was allowed to play on a course that was 20 percent shorter than the course the boys were required to play. The difference was more than merely nominal, amounting to more than 1,000 yards over the entire tournament: “Suh, 17, won the AAA title at Elizabeth Manor Country Club in Portsmouth. She was the only girl in the tournament, and she played the course at 5,370 yards; the boys played it at 6,462 yards.”

Is that fair to the male golfers she beat who were required to cover a thousand more yards than she did? (By the way, as I recall, she won by only one stroke.)

It’s all well and good for women to play with men–but only if they are held to the same standard of fair play.


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