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Mike Whan's Take on Purse Equality for LPGA/PGA Tours


LPGA Tour Purse Equity  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Complete this sentence: We will see five or more LPGA events with purses as large as equivalent PGA Tour events within the next…

    • 5 Years
      2
    • 10 Years
      4
    • 20 Years
      6
    • 25+ Years
      26


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There is also a huge wildcard in that if trends continue women's golf will come to be dominated by XY chromosome women.  A big step in that direction just happened in an EO.  If that happens will ratings go up or down?

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I’m just going to echo the others at this point. The ratings aren’t there, the interest isn’t there, therefore the money isn’t there. The only way I see LPGA Tour events having the same purse has PGA

I'm not sure if comparing tennis purses to golf for the majors is a one to one equivalence, in tennis, both men and women play the same event at the same time at the majors, the Australian, French, Wi

So true, unfortunately. It’s not fair to label someone as sexist just because they find a sport more entertaining based on talent. I find women’s gymnastics in the olympics way more entertaining than

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I did not vote, because there was no option for "never." I don't believe there will ever be an LPGA tour event with a similar purse to an equivalent men's event. The money has to come from somewhere and that "somewhere" is sponsorships and ticket sales.

The demand simply does not exist and it never will unless women start to hit the ball as long as men do. And unless you believe that biological differences that have existed since the beginning of human-kind will slowly start to fade away, then that simply isn't going to happen.

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10 minutes ago, turtleback said:

There is also a huge wildcard in that if trends continue women's golf will come to be dominated by XY chromosome women.  A big step in that direction just happened in an EO.

How big do you think this trend is?  What big step just happened?  I honestly don't see a trend, but perhaps I've missed something.

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8 minutes ago, Big C said:

I did not vote, because there was no option for "never."

25+ goes to infinity, technically. When the earth is swallowed by an expanding sun, the purse sizes will be the same: $0.

8 minutes ago, Big C said:

The demand simply does not exist and it never will unless women start to hit the ball as long as men do. And unless you believe that biological differences that have existed since the beginning of human-kind will slowly start to fade away, then that simply isn't going to happen.

You'd be castrated on another site for saying what may very well be true.

8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

How big do you think this trend is?  What big step just happened?  I honestly don't see a trend, but perhaps I've missed something.

I don't know what this is about either, but I've seen the "Phil Mickelson as a woman" memes, too…?

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41 minutes ago, iacas said:

You'd be castrated on another site for saying what may very well be true.

So true, unfortunately. It’s not fair to label someone as sexist just because they find a sport more entertaining based on talent. I find women’s gymnastics in the olympics way more entertaining than the men. I also enjoy watching women’s tennis every bit as much as men’s. But women’s golf? It just doesn’t have the flair that the men’s does. 
They usually play quite boring. Just the fact that they can beat all of us isn’t exciting enough. Watching the guys go for par 5’a in two, crazy cut shots, hooks, long bunker shots, fw wood off the concrete, and of course monster drives. Sorry, but the ladies just don’t provide that.

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18 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

So true, unfortunately. It’s not fair to label someone as sexist just because they find a sport more entertaining based on talent. I find women’s gymnastics in the olympics way more entertaining than the men. I also enjoy watching women’s tennis every bit as much as men’s. But women’s golf? It just doesn’t have the flair that the men’s does. 
They usually play quite boring. Just the fact that they can beat all of us isn’t exciting enough. Watching the guys go for par 5’a in two, crazy cut shots, hooks, long bunker shots, fw wood off the concrete, and of course monster drives. Sorry, but the ladies just don’t provide that.

I do like watching the better LPGA players though. But they do seem to play more sedate than the men, if you get what I’m saying. Some are really slow too, but so are some men.

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48 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I do like watching the better LPGA players though. But they do seem to play more sedate than the men, if you get what I’m saying. Some are really slow too, but so are some men.

Oh absolutely. I watch a decent amount of LPGA too. And I enjoy it at a level that I feel they are fairly compensated for, which is less than PGA because ...it’s less entertaining..usually. 

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

The NCAA has a TON more people involved.

The NBA has a limit of 390 players who can be active to play, and only 450 rostered players. (13 and 15 per team, 30 teams). March Madness alone will see an integer.decimal multiple of that number of players.

I wasn't necessarily referring to the industry as a whole.  More individual events.  The ratings for a regular season game between top 10 teams is going to come close to a regular a season NFL game.  Revenue from gate attendance for a Michigan/Ohio State game is going to come close to a regular season NFL game as well.  Ratings for March Madness games are right up there with NBA playoffs games.  My point is just that inferior "skill" or level of competition for an event doesn't automatically have to correlate to lower revenue potential. 

I also hesitate to say LPGA players are less skilled than their PGA counterparts, while also conceding its hard to come up with a better single word.  Players on the LPGA have come as close to maximizing their abilities as possible, same on the PGA tour.  So I don't think they are less skilled.  They just have less powerful tools in the toolbox.

 

2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I do like watching the better LPGA players though. But they do seem to play more sedate than the men, if you get what I’m saying. Some are really slow too, but so are some men.

 

1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Oh absolutely. I watch a decent amount of LPGA too. And I enjoy it at a level that I feel they are fairly compensated for, which is less than PGA because ...it’s less entertaining..usually. 

I also enjoy watching LPGA every now and then as well.  But for a reason I haven't seen mentioned yet... their game more closely compares to how I work my way around a course than the men's game.  When an LPGA player is 145 yards out with a carry over a bunker, I can much more closely relate to that shot, and how I would play it rather than a PGA player.  I'd love to hit a wedge, but its not in my tool box.

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Additionally, golf is almost an outlier in individual sports w/r/t equal prize money. People already mentioned tennis, but World Cup alpine skiing has equal prize money across genders. Most track and field events have equal prize money across genders as do most marathons. World Championship swimming and surfing offer equal prize money as well. There’s obviously differences between golf and these sports with events taking place simultaneously and under the same governing body, but it’s not some radical, pie in the sky idea. Lots of other sports found ways to make it happen. If the powers that be in golf wanted to prioritize it, they could.

I saw this posted elsewhere, and so I have no idea as to the veracity of it, but I will say it's a good post. Some small nits to pick:

  • Those other events aren't held weekly or 36 times a year or whatever the LPGA Tour does.
  • Some of those events have entry fees (marathons) that may help fund the payouts.

I thought I had a third, earlier, but oh well.

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22 minutes ago, iacas said:

I saw this posted elsewhere, and so I have no idea as to the veracity of it, but I will say it's a good post. Some small nits to pick:

  • Those other events aren't held weekly or 36 times a year or whatever the LPGA Tour does.
  • Some of those events have entry fees (marathons) that may help fund the payouts.

I thought I had a third, earlier, but oh well.

The Boston Marathon pays out the same across all divisions, but as you say, this is a once a year event and run at the same time.

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  • Prize money at the Boston Marathon is equally distributed amongst men and women in the Open, Masters, and Wheelchair Division. 

 

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5 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

How big do you think this trend is?  What big step just happened?  I honestly don't see a trend, but perhaps I've missed something.

The big step is the executive Order that was just signed.  Here is an article, from a liberal publication, looking at the effect the order might have on women's sports.

Newsweek article

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4 minutes ago, turtleback said:

The big step is the executive Order that was just signed.  Here is an article, from a liberal publication, looking at the effect the order might have on women's sports.

Newsweek article

But this doesn't affect golf or the LPGA Tour.

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LPGA players have voted to allow transgender players to compete on tour in response to a lawsuit filed by a California woman who had her sex changed five years ago.

That's ten years ago. They scrapped the "female at birth" clause in 2010.

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4 minutes ago, turtleback said:

The big step is the executive Order that was just signed.  Here is an article, from a liberal publication, looking at the effect the order might have on women's sports.

Newsweek article

But that has been the rule in the LPGA since late 2010, more than 10 years.  The NCAA already allows transgender players to compete in women's sports, with some stipulations.  I don't see the Executive Order as changing much of what goes on in women's golf.

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On 1/21/2021 at 12:08 PM, iacas said:

The average here?

  • PGA Tour: 0.26
  • The LPGA Tour: 0.21

FWIW:
U.S. Open: $12.5M
U.S. Women's Open: $5.5M

I think this is the key comparison. Why do men get an average of 23% higher ratings but have a purse that's 127% higher. Granted that purse is the US Open, not an average like that ratings number is. But my impression just from watching over the years is that the average men's purse is nowhere close to only 23% higher than the average women's purse.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

I saw this posted elsewhere, and so I have no idea as to the veracity of it, but I will say it's a good post. Some small nits to pick:

  • Those other events aren't held weekly or 36 times a year or whatever the LPGA Tour does.
  • Some of those events have entry fees (marathons) that may help fund the payouts.

I thought I had a third, earlier, but oh well.

i?img=%2Fphoto%2F2018%2F0906%2Fr426892_2

The World Surf League has announced an equal prize money structure for male and female competitors, becoming the first US-based sports...

WSL events are as or nearly as frequent as (L)PGA events.

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19 minutes ago, mdl said:

I think this is the key comparison. Why do men get an average of 23% higher ratings but have a purse that's 127% higher.

Let's be clear here: the men receive much higher ratings than 23%, generally.

Those events were simply on Golf Channel the same weekend, but again, the LPGA event was their "Masters" basically, while the PGA Tour event was the Safeway.

And yeah, you're comparing the U.S. Open purses… So let's see:

  • 2019 U.S. Women's Open: 0.5 share (~725,000 viewers)
  • 2019 U.S. Open: 5.2 share (about 7.5 million viewers)

There's a ten-fold difference there.

Quote

The final round was no match for the corresponding days of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur (0.9, 1.36M) or last year’s Women’s British Open (0.7, 964K).

Even the most watched event, the ANWA, got a 0.9, or just a bit more than 1/6th the viewership the 2019 U.S. Open got.

19 minutes ago, mdl said:

But my impression just from watching over the years is that the average men's purse is nowhere close to only 23% higher than the average women's purse.

You're putting too much weight on the 23%.

The WSL isn't a heavily broadcast sport. It's not a sport with purses adding up to several hundred million.

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It's simple economics, and it has nothing to do with sexism.  Crowd sizes and television ratings simply don't justify their purses being anywhere near the PGA Tour's.  As someone else pointed out, female golfers don't watch the LPGA.  I watch it when there is nothing else on, but given the choice, I'd rather watch the Champions Tour than the LPGA.  As I am writing, Darren Clarke just put a hybrid on the green from over 250 yards away.  Is there a single player on the LPGA Tour that could do that?  How about a 202 yard 7 iron to less than ten feet like Retief Goosen?

I've also heard the same argument about women's soccer, but other than the USWNT, there is no draw.  Yes, the USWNT has historically done better than the USMNT, but they have very little competition.  The competition is getting better globally, but there are probably only eight national teams that can even compete with the USWNT.  They are a massive fish in a very small pond, whereas the USMNT is a minnow internationally. 

Even though they are minnows, the USMNT is still stocked with players from clubs in the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, and now even Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga. They're very well paid, and this translates to international friendlies and tournaments.  The USWNT may do better when it comes to wins and losses, but their ratings are solely based on American viewership, whereas the men's are based on the enormous international viewership.

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The point is made that the men have a 100-year head start, and thus some of the issue is the lack of exposure.

I don't think it's even the majority issue, but it is an issue. Some people seem to think it's entirely the issue - that the women haven't had the exposure, and if they were given it, they'd be just as valuable as the men in short order.

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It’s about entertainment value for me. But then how does the LPGA become more so? Idk. I wonder how ratings moved in the event lexi first moved her ball on the putting green?

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