LET player Meghan MacLaren sparked a twitter debate on Tuesday when she posted about the disparity in pay between professional golfers in the men and women’s games
MacLaren highlighted the difference in prize funds between the Ladies European Tour and European Tour, who both hold events in Abu Dhabi in the space of two weeks.
Last week, England’s Charley Hull claimed the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi, winning from a total prize fund of $293,000
This week, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – a Rolex Series event – boasts a purse of $7,000,000… a difference of $6,307,000.
The post generated a lot of responses about the lack of sponsors and coverage, and there was plenty of debate about the level of interest in the women’s game.
Some were sympathetic or outraged, while others found the comparison either misleading or felt that the LET is a business which simply isn’t attractive enough to sponsors – but that no sexist element was involved.
Money and attracting sponsors is a problem for the Ladies European Tour that has been highlighted by cancelled events, a thinned out schedule of tournaments and the admissions that it has become impossible for many to make a living as a female professional golfer on the LET – with some having to take other part-time jobs.
McLaren acknowledged the good job the LPGA were doing, and this morning wrote a new post accepting the differences in the ‘business’ of the sport and why the money is different. But she also made a valid point: ‘People playing the same sport, at the same level. Try telling a young girl getting in to golf that she’s worth 6 million less than her brother.”