I Just Want to Play: Women Negotiating Gender in Golf

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Chapple, Constance L.
McQuillan, Julia
McGinnis, Lee
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
November 2003
Alternative Title
Golf does not inherently privilege men or women (physically), yet men are much more likely to participate in golf. What are the institutional and interactional barriers to women's gold participation? What strategies do women use to negotiate playing and persisting in golf? Guided by research on occupational sex segregation , statistical discrimination, and "chilly climates," we explore these questions using 10 interviews with women golfers. The perception that "good golfer" automatically means "male" contributes to women feeling unworthy to play golf. In addition, social closure operates in the form of unwelcoming courses; women reported feeling ignored, overlooked, or unimportant on the course. Finally, several characteristics of the courses themselves and on-course interactions help frame golf experiences as "woman friendly" or not.