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Feb 18, 2016 | 11:01 am

Gender Pay Gap Between the Tours

LPGA star Stacy Lewis gave an interview published yesterday by GOLF.com where she addressed the pay gap between the LPGA and PGA Tours. She explained that she was frustrated with the difference in pay when “we’re doing the same thing and the only difference is the TV numbers and the TV ratings. That’s really it.” Unfortunately, that is a pretty big factor for those who determine the purse. TV ratings drive advertiser and sponsor decisions, determine coverage choices, and in turn (largely) dictate the purse for that week’s event. If an event has relatively few people watching, advertisers and sponsors adjust their budgets accordingly, and the event is unable to offer a large purse.

The men’s and women’s US Opens both taking place at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014 provides an interesting opportunity to compare events with fewer variables. The 2014 US Women’s garnered the largest purse in history up to that point at $4 million. In contrast, the men played for $9 million in their event the prior week. The USGA maintained a policy of not releasing separate attendance numbers, but it is estimated that attendance was roughly just over one third as high for the women. TV ratings for the women’s final day were a record 1.7 (71% increase from 2013) while the men earned a 3.3 (46% decline from 2013) on their championship Sunday.

Is men’s golf more entertaining to watch than women’s events? Is the problem, like Lewis says, simply a matter of gaining more exposure? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Feb 17, 2016 | 12:45 pm

Walk of Fame

Los Angeles usually doesn't get all worked up over celebrities, but there's a lot of star buzz around storied Riviera this week as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy tee it up at the Northern Trust Open. Spieth goes off the 1st tee at 12:12 local time tomorrow with good friend Jutin Thomas and ageless crowd favorite Fred Couples, while McIlroy is paired with Matt Kuchar and Hideki Matsuyama at 7:32 off the 10th tee. While this is McIlroy's first trip to "Hogan's Alley," Spieth and Riv have a history together. He led the Texas Longhorns to victory at the course in the 2012 NCAA Championship and last year he just missed getting into a playoff when he bogeyed the 72nd hole. Southern Cal also heavily recruited him, even offering him one of their four playing memberships at Riv. "It's one of the very few with the history that it has, past champions, not only just the champions, but just those who have walked these fairways," he said yesterday. "And then for me to win on a golf course that I consider one of the top few in the world, I mean, that's always a goal. Yeah, it would be amazing."

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Feb 16, 2016 | 10:19 am

Honourable Mixed Company?

It was inevitable—Scotland’s Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Muirfield) has decided to take a postal vote on whether to admit female members. After years of debate, the matter has come to a head, in response to not so subtle pressure from the R&A which would like to continue bringing the Open Championship to Muirfield but in the 21st Century finds it increasingly indefensible to do so.

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Feb 15, 2016 | 06:09 am

Thanks, Pro

On April 10th of this year, the PGA of America celebrates its 100th birthday. The PGA—today one of the world’s largest sports organizations, representing 28,000 golf professionals—was founded in a New York City hotel as a way to help the first golf pros, most of whom had come over from Britain, elevate their status. In honor of the PGA’s Centennial, the organization recently began a 100-day celebration, which will include regular programming on Golf Channel highlighting the 41 PGA sections and many of its members. Also, May 4 has been named “PGA Instruction Day”: Six sites nationwide will host clinics featuring PGA pros, with Golf Channel turning each clinic into a live televised event. The PGA also wants anyone who wishes to pay tribute to a PGA pro who has helped improve their game and/or life to tell their story on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #thxpgapro. Find out how and check out others’ messages at the PGA’s website. If you love the game, there’s probably a PGA Pro who deserves your thanks. Here’s your chance.

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