Thu July 5, 2012
Women's golf diversifies
The top women golfers are in Kohler for a major championship that starts today. It's a more multicultural group than the last time a women's "major" was in the state. And, the golf industry hopes to duplicate that growing diversity at your local golf course.
The Women's U.S. Open at the Blackwolf Run course in Kohler has about 150 players. Nearly one-fifth are from South Korea. About 25 countries are represented. U.S. player Paula Creamer says the diversity makes the game more competitive.
The U.S. Golf Association says the tournament helps show golf is not just a game for older white men. Association spokesman Joe Goode says his organization and the PGA are also reaching out in various ways to women who have never played golf, including with a program called Get Golf Ready.
Goode contends the USGA is not just worried about the bottom line for the golf industry, which slumped during the recession. He says his group is also trying to help preserve the sport. If the USGA isn't serious about its diversity efforts, some analysts says major cutbacks are coming in golf during the next few decades.
Golf fan Mike Smith of Neenah says it's good to see the women's golf grow more diverse. He says his concern isn't the demographics of who's playing at Blackwolf Run, but rather the heat and humidity for the players and the spectators over the next few days.