Upheaval in the world of Women’s Golf

With the July/August issue, Golf For Women ceased publication and more recently, its web site was incorporated into golfdigest.com. While editors cited a tough economic market, most women found it difficult to understand the failure. The only common agreement in the closing forums was that apparel advertisers were pretty off base with their $1000 outfits, not a typical investment for the average golfer.

Will Golf Digest fill the void? I’ve been receiving it for free for quite a while and I’ve been thinking I’d rather save the trees. Other than the recent addition of an Annika column, it’s missing the appeal of the women’s interest stories and women specific tips. The reaction among women has been overwhelmingly negative and I think we’ll see the emergence a dominant internet site that attempts to fill the void. Why would any advertiser for women’s products want to pay $45,000 for ads in a magazine subscribed to largely by men?

The LPGA announced it will require players to speak English starting in 2009, with players who have been LPGA members for two years facing suspension if they can’t pass an oral evaluation of English skills. There are 121 LPGA Tour international players, 20% of the total which includes 45 from South Korea, and 26 countries overall. After a huge backlash, about national origin discrimination, The LPGA withdrew the requirement.

In both of these cases, you have to wonder, how well did they think this through? Did they talk to the people it would affect and ask for their input? Was there another solution that would have resulted in greater unity and acceptance?

Just like getting out to vote, it’s important to get involved. If you see room for improvement at your golf club or favorite charity tournament- volunteer to help! You may be helping to prevent changes you never wanted.

Christine Speedy is CEO of CEOgolfshop.com and an Executive Women’s Golf Assn. member.