It used to be a gentleman’s game till Mary, the Queen of Scots broke all rules to swing it on the turf in 1567. And it was after that that the menfolk tuned their minds to the idea of spotting les femmes on their punctured lawns. It actually took them centuries to fit this image into their heads. Yet, today when she is ready to putt, he has already compared her swing on the course to his aim in the privies.
It’s time the prejudices stop. Give it time and she will be able to successfully guide the ball into the hole, because at that she is a natural. Not every leisure pursuit must turn into a dramatic victory. Ask the black-suited professionals who take up the sport – because that’s the only place where you can talk business, keeping it light with a seriously playful swing.
If equality is the mantra sung in corporate boardrooms, then allowing her to tee off with him is an extension of that. Accept change on the dogmatic turf with an open mind. Maybe that mix can even get into a little flirting to up those interest levels in the game. All that booty shaking to hold a helpful posture over the wisely positioned legs, for a perfect body twist in sync with an ace swing, sure can get more than just adrenalines rising. Everybody knows it happens – even if sporadically. These grasslands were designed to build contacts and even schmoose. Restricting them to just business networking and liaisons would be an unfair turning of the back.
Stop looking at her as just an attractive body on the golf course. Her shoes match her t-shirt, which fits over her skirt in an interesting contrast to her hat, because she cares – not because the sport isn’t worthy her sincerity. Give golf more credit than that and let the games begin!
Women On The Turf
Swinging with the men
Three decades ago, the then 13-year-old Smriti Mehra (third position holder at Hero Order Of Merit 2013) stumbled into the game when her swim coach was being rather rude to her. She ran out of the water and straight to her mum who was prepping for a tee of. “She took me to the driving range and gave me a club to shut me up.” Luckily for her, there weren’t any happenstances with impolite golfer boys. Growing up, her team comprised her school friends – all three males and very supportive. “I actually never felt any kind of discrimination. I grew up playing in the ladies’ team and graduated to the men’s team. In fact, there was a point when they wouldn’t let me go.” This could also culminate from the fact that she matured in a community where every golfer knew the other’s name.
Taking it in her stride
Scoffs were part of 28-year-old Shraddhanjali Singh’s (10th position holder at Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2012) training, whose golfing career began as a hobby in her hometown – Jamshedpur. Writing them off as ones who judge too soon, she stood resilient in her decision to master the sport. Her caddy’s niggardly attention thrown her way like charity, fuelled her drive to swing a perfect hole-in-one much more. Her experiences even talk of much older men sulking for being ‘stuck’ with a girl – this till her skill hits them on the head like an awakening. “I must admit though, sometimes when we’re stuck behind a slow group, they’re more likely to let us pass if asked nicely by a girl.” Perhaps they misjudge that girls are just out to have fun.
It’s for the gents alright
Rani Sonti (sixth position holder at Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013) finds it irking that even today, many believe that golf is more of a man’s thing. “At some clubs we have to ask for a ladies’ tournament because they aren’t scheduled naturally like they would the men’s.” A member of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, she claims to be one of the first three women to be accepted there. It is known to have had reserved certain areas where the strolling of the fairer sex in these parts could threaten her reputation. But today, “it really is one of the most prestigious clubs that have opened their hearts out to us (women).” It’s about time.
Make them dance
Meghna Bal (14th position holder at Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013), quite the naughty one, uses her feminity as her handicap at times. Not very long ago her brother and she challenged two boys, who prided their swing, to a game. It was agreed that the losers had to put on a show for the winners, using the club’s pole as props. But of course, the boys won themselves an audience.