With the US Women’s Open in Colorado this weekend, the Denver Post looked at how different female players are able to market themselves and their sport.
“It’s been in sports ever since women started playing sports, that just what it is,” said Inkster, who’s in the World Golf Hall of Fame. “And I don’t have any trouble looking at an Adam Scott (a PGA Tour golfer). If they can promote themselves that way, that’s their gig. Personally, if you can do both, I think that’s better.”
Very true. We have this discussion in every sport. Just look at the NCAA Women’s basketball tournament. Without Skylar Diggins, we wouldn’t have noticed except to complain about the UConn dynasty. Ladies’ golf is no different. We pay attention to Natalie Gulbis, and don’t have any idea who Yani Tseng is despite the fact that she’s a US Open win away from a career Grand Slam. At twenty-two years old.
The LPGA needs phenoms like Tseng to get noticed and pretty girls to make people pay attention because the money is dwindling.
Sex appeal sells — and the LPGA can use all the help it can get. According to the tour, in 2008 it had 37 events with a combined $64.1 million in purses. This season, it is down to 27 events with total purses of $44.2 million.
That’s why young (and good) pros like Sandra Gal (right) are important to the tour. Whatever it takes. Like showing up in the Body Issue. (Warning: Nude female form) The pros know it.
“I think women athletes are confident to be both attractive and athletic, and you don’t have to shy away from being both,” Gulbis said after walking into a restricted area with a reporter. “I think you’ve seen a trend in the last 10-15 years. The media is recognizing women who are attractive and athletic, in all sports — from Olympic athletes to tennis players, swimmers to golfers.”
[Denver Post, Miami Herald, Image via Getty]