Over the past couple of years I have become very passionate about the promotion, or lack of it, of women’s professional golf. There seems to be such a massive divide between elite men and women and the coverage that they are able to generate in golf and general sport media. Media outlets are the first to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to equality issues such as the Muirfield vote and whether it’s sexist to give a sponsors invite based on your social media ranking. But when there’s a Major Championship with the best of the women’s game in attendance……tumbleweed.

The main area of focus for UK media coverage of a women’s Major golf event is controversy – Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration, Suzann Pettersen at the Solheim Cup, Anna Nordqvist at the US Open.

I’m currently re-reading Kicking Off by Sarah Shephard where in the first chapter there are two great insights into women’s sport coverage. Firstly from Mail on Sunday’s Editor Alison Kervin who states “In most women’s sport there’s no narrative because the characters aren’t as established. Every weekend, we’re all wondering things such as how will Wayne Rooney do? Or, what will Petr Čech be like when he’s playing against his former team Chelsea? The characters in women’s sport haven’t come to life in the same way – and that’s because of lack of publicity. These things feed themselves. Until people start really wondering whether the England women’s star striker is going to score in her next league game it’s very hard for the sport to become as engaging”

Ian Prior, who was The Guardian’s Sports Editor goes on to tell Sarah that a focused determination to close the gap in coverage between women’s and men’s sport is the only way to make changes happen.

It’s not a magic solution, covering women’s golf isn’t going to instantly impact viewing figures or necessarily get more women playing golf, but to not cover Major events at the very least does a disservice to the talented individuals who slog away day in, day out, to be the best. And, let’s face it, and not always for a huge reward like in the men’s game. We should have a build-up of excitement, take this opportunity to highlight the very talented home grown golfers who may just come out on top and start making these golfers household names.

It’s 2017, it’s about time the media stop giving lip service to equality in women’s golf and do something about it.

Emma Ballard – Head of Digital @Medi8Emma