Did you watch the coverage of the US Women's Open? I’d love to have the opportunity to play Pebble Beach, the course looks amazing with views to die for. Hosting the oldest women’s Major at this iconic course for the first time demonstrates further progress for the women’s game, as well as the fact that the prize purse of $11 million has doubled from two years ago. America’s Allisen Corpuz was rewarded for her maiden major title with a cheque for $2 million, the largest payout in women’s golf history – not a bad week’s work!
Of course, I was rooting for Charley Hull, who shot a brilliant final round 66 to finish in a share of second place with South Korea’s Jiyai Shin, and they each took home just under $1 million. Charley was on a birdie blitz from the get-go, plus she threw in an eagle on the 2nd hole. Her aggressive golf was incredible to watch and her putter was red hot – must have been due to her lucky Charley caricature Surprizeshop ball marker!
I appreciate that not everyone has Sky TV, or perhaps you prefer to watch men’s golf, but if it’s the latter, I urge you to take the opportunity and tune in to watch these world-class female professionals in action. In fact, my next column for Golf Monthly is on this very subject – how a historical lack of visibility for women's golf has ingrained the habit of only watching men’s golf on TV and therefore, as a general rule, so many women have a total lack of recognition of the leading female players.
Don’t get me wrong, I get it because when I first learned to play the game, professional women’s golf was not on my radar. I traveled to watch all sorts of men’s championships but never attended women’s events until much later, and that was initially in a working capacity. I look back now and wonder - why wouldn't you want to observe, learn, and draw inspiration from sportswomen of your own gender if you're passionate about the sport?
While watching these players, whether on TV or in person, you learn a great deal about how to play and approach the game, while also gaining some golf fashion inspiration! From my personal observations, many male club golfers have a genuine interest in women's golf as they can relate more to the swings and distances achieved by these women, compared to someone like Rory McIlroy blasting a drive over 350 yards down the fairway!
I wish that I’d had my eyes opened to the world of women’s professional golf much earlier, but at least now it does receive greater exposure and there are numerous opportunities to watch these super-talented players in action. We also have the Aramco Team Series at Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, then next month we’ve got the Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links from 3-6 August and the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath from 10-13 August, so much great golf to look forward to!