The cherubic looking young man at left is Brandon Tucker. He travels the globe playing golf, and writes about it in a worldly, self-confident style that belies his tender age... which judging from his photo, I guess to be around 15.
Brandon can be audacious too. Like when he recently picked Sergio Garcia to win the Masters. Ouch. I know what that feels like and, it's not good.
Today however, Brandon was doing provocative, and doing it quite well. In his Wednesday post Mr. Tucker was temerarious enough to suggest that "women should pay cheaper greens fees than men at the golf course".
Not free, exactly, - free was my idea, inspired by Ladies Night at the Globe - Brandon simply proposed a discount; a sensible 10% - 20% off. His reasoning was straightforward; Women play a shorter course and they treat it more gently...women play fast, (presumably due to intimidation) drive slow and shop like Santa before they go home. These factors, Brandon reasons, combined with the the golf industry's well documented efforts to increase the number of female golfers and the number of rounds played by women, make lower fees for the fair sex a tactic worth considering.
Personally, I think it's an awesome idea, though it would hardly affect the amount of golf I play... I'm already totally addicted and play several rounds a week... I do think it would be an incentive to new female golfers however. Theses days particularly, when a couple of dollars off makes anything seem more palatable. And if we can get more women to give it a try we're going to grow the game. So yeah, I like it. But not everyone did.
As of 2:08AM Thursday comments are decidedly mixed: Donna Hoffman, thinks it would help and she should know, she runs Women on Course the excellent women's golf networking organization I wrote about a couple of months ago. Donna introduces hundreds of new women to the game each year so she knows what the barriers are.
A descending opinion came from Stephanie Wei who writes and edits the highly entertaining Wei Under Par. Stephanie's take was that most of Brandon's reasoning came down to Stepford stereotypes and thus provided little valid argument for lowering women's greens fees. And it's true. Brandon's post was rife with stereotypes. Stereotype that don't apply to me anymore than they apply to Stefanie, even though she seemingly plays really well and I play like crap. ~After all, I'm not intimidated by much on the golf course, and as a publicist, I'm addicted to my Blackberry. But the majority of new women golfers do fit a lot of those stereotypes, and that's the gang we want to get...and keep... golfing.
There there were the comments by guys. They mainly joked about the post, and I thought I detected a gleeful tinge of "that's never gonna happen" too.
The point is though, the post provoked discussion. Discussion about the state of the game and how we can keep it viable. I'm quite sure the discussion will continue too, over the next couple of days. So thanks Brandon, you write really good... for a kid.
Now, let me get back to my new job as the the official on-line apologist for Sergio Garcia.