Friday

Revolutionary Mixed-Sex Open Has Golf Couples Competing as Equals

Mixed Sex Golf Competition         photo credit: byronv2 via photopin cc
Have you heard the latest news out of Barnham Broom?

I'm guessing you may not have, so let me fill you in: it seems Barnham Broom Golf Club, a pastoral Norfolk (UK) golf destination, will be breaking with tradition later this summer and hosting the region's first mixed-sex open tournament.

Initially, this news may not sound significant enough to be labeled "revolutionary". However, the fact is, mixed-sex competitions... where female golfers compete directly against their male counterparts... are extremely rare.  There are many reasons for the sex segregation, some of which are cultural, based on tradition established in the infancy of the sport, while others involve measured physiological advantages men have over women... in golf among many sports... particularly at top levels.

While I won't go into detail here (for fear of alienating anyone new to the game) I'm guessing that widespread confusion/contention surrounding handicap adjustment when playing from different tees, also plays a role in the general distaste for mixed-sex golf tournaments.

The golf director at Barnham Broom however, appears to feel the time is right for an on-course revolution. The new format, that'll take place over five days, across two championship courses, will involve both strokeplay and matchplay.  More details (including info on how to enter) can be found on the Barnham Broom website, as well as in Lewis Pacelli's recent story for Golf Monthly.