Slumbers To Emphasize Amateur Game To Close Gender Pay Gap
While gender equality "is clearly prevalent in tennis," the world of golf "has a long way to go to catch up," according to Tony Jimenez of REUTERS. Total prize money at this week’s British Open is $10.5M but the purse for the women’s equivalent next month is only $3.25M. The R&A said that "the way to address the imbalance was to focus on the amateur game." R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said, "Our primary objective is to make sure our game is thriving 50 years from now. ... That is a significant problem we have to face so our Women in Golf Charter is one of our major planks of trying to get the amateur game to grow. We absolutely want to drive up the prize money for the Women’s British Open ... but if we can grow the women’s amateur game, that helps the business model at the top end. That’s what we are trying to achieve." Slumbers, however, "underlined that finance was a key factor in all considerations." He said, "Professional golf is a business, a business about how much revenue comes in from TV, from sponsors, and then you balance that against how much it costs to stage the event and how much you pay out in prize money. ... How do we improve the business model that is underpinning women’s professional golf?" (REUTERS, 7/19).