- The Masters is the most iconic golf tournament held yearly and at the same venue, unlike other major tournaments.
- Four significant tournaments have long-held equivalent male and female competitions, but the Masters hasn’t.
- The Augusta Women’s Amateur could be the main reason why there hasn’t been much attention to the masters women’s competition
- The 2022 masters tournament is set to begin on the 7th to 10th of April
Three of golf’s four major tournaments — the US Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship – have long had male and female equivalents, but the Masters has yet to do so.
A Women’s Masters has not been officially ruled out by Augusta National, according to Golf Monthly. Still, a professional competition for female golfers does not appear to be in the works.
So, for the time being, we’re no closer to seeing Nelly Korda and Lydia Ko teeing off on the first tee in Georgia. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
Augusta National Golf Club first opened for play in 1932, and the Masters Tournament has been contested there every year since 1934.
For many years, the club was solely male, and it wasn’t until 2012 when Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore were introduced as Augusta’s first female members.
Even though former chairman Billy Payne regarded this as a “glorious moment, [and] a significant and beneficial point in our club’s history,” membership is rarely acknowledged.
There were intentions to open a ladies ‘ course within the first decade of the club’s existence, but the Great Depression caused financial difficulties. Thus the idea was dropped.
THERE IS NO TIME TO HOLD THE EVENT
There’s also a case in which Augusta would have difficulty scheduling another women’s event at a convenient time.
The course’s beauty is part of the club’s attraction, and both the Women’s Amateur and the Masters are held in April when many of the 30 species of blossoms are in season.
The course is closed from May to October, leaving little time for a professional women’s competition.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, the Masters was played in November, and the conditions were unusual.
VALUING THE AMATEUR GAME
Perhaps the primary reason there hasn’t been more talk about the masters women’s tournament is Augusta’s concentration on the amateur game.
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur, a 54-hole strokeplay event, was launched in 2019.
“Augusta National was co-founded by the greatest amateur of all time [Bobby Jones],” chairman Fred Ridley noted.
“To date, all of our grow-the-game initiatives have been focused on amateur golf and amateur golfers.
“We elected to conduct a women’s amateur tournament for really that exact reason.
“I think that what has happened will translate and be a real benefit for professional golf and the LPGA.”
The Women’s Amateur has received a lot of media attention since its start. Jennifer Kupcho, the first winner, was presented with a set of crystal goblets, similar to the men’s victors.
While a professional women’s tournament would undoubtedly bring in more money and raise the profile of women’s golf, it would do so at the expense of an amateur competition growing in popularity.
Men’s world number two Collin Morikawa admitted that the conditions weren’t perfect that year, but there was no other option.
“I think we can all agree that it wasn’t the best. It wasn’t tip-top and probably not what Augusta wanted or what we could’ve seen,” he said in a press conference this week.
Despite this, the November Masters was a success, and the course was more than adequate while not in perfect condition.
All of this being said, there are currently five women’s majors, and adding a sixth may be excessive. However, practically every male golfer desires to play at Augusta National, and you can bet it’s the same for female golfers.
The golf world ignited when Fred Ridley announced the introduction of the ANWA in 2018. Imagine if a similar announcement was made concerning the world’s finest female athletes
Apart from becoming one of the game’s two or three most essential tournaments, it would convey a powerful message about equality.
The game’s most influential club could, in one single swoop, advance the cause of women’s golf by decades while also earning respect and admiration from those both inside and outside the sport.
Maybe now is the moment to give them a chance.
The 2022 masters is Scheduled for the first whole week of April at Augusta National Golf Club, a private course in the Southern United States in Augusta, Georgia.