Monday, May 25, 2009

Pimp my golf cart?

Ok this doesn't have anything to do with golf carts (not really anyway) but I had to use the word pimp in the title, because that it what seems to be happening with these female golfers for hire.
A company started by a female golfer (who never quite made it to the LPGA), allows men, or companies runs by men apparently, to hire female golfers for outings, large and small, bachelor parties, or just to pretty things up on the course. Better Golf Designs has a website where interested parties can peruse the offerings. Shots of the golfers in sexy clothes (not golf clothes) are featured.
All of the golfers are professionals--golf professionals that is. Some are members of the Futures Tour supplementing their income.
Most of the arguments (pro and con) are provided in the article linked above. But I have to add that I don't think this helps women's golf generally. And it certainly does nothing to diminish the old boys club aspect to golf. It only adds elements of the strip club (i.e., the sexualization and devaluation of women).


Diane said...

Nothing surprises me anymore. On the contrary, I now expect to hear about things like this. What in hell are people teaching their daughters?

Patricia Hannigan said...

Folks I think there's a bit of confusion here.

PGD is primarily a Las Vegas Golf Travel and Event Planning Company, and as such I find their marketing strategy spot-on, and completely appropriate. I see nothing demeaning in their approach at all, in fact I find it strong and empowering.

PGD is about “entertainment”. Vegas-style entertainment. The golf part of their business is “entertainment golf” – albiet on an exceptionally high level.

They make no claims to offer a competitive golf experience nor do they make any effort to align their marketing campaign with that of the LPGA, or associate the PGD brand with the LPGA brand. Some of the PGD players have played on the LPGA tour, others aspire to get there some day, and all respect the LPGA and its players as representing the highest level of women’s professional golf.

As far as the TIME piece is concerned, I was surprised that this magazine – which once prided itself on hard news, well researched and reported – had so changed (with the trying times, one would suppose) that they were now doing stories that in the past, were once the fodder of People Magazine …or even the tabloids. Ribald references to “escort services, girls for rent and spring break bar maid outfits”, in a supposedly serious story, used to be strictly tabloid territory.

One of the golf blogging gentlemen commented somewhere that Nisha Sadakar, the founder of Play Golf Designs, should have been more cautious and shouldn’t have been surprised to be taken “out of context” because that’s what reporters/journalists/copywriters do. And yes, it IS what they do, these days more than ever, even if they’re with TIME magazine and even if they appear to admire and respect you and your organization. I’m pretty sure Nisha learned a valuable lesson with this experience.

Just one final observation regarding the LPGA and it’s players. A couple of weeks ago at the Sybase Classic, I saw some LPGA players wearing skirts that were shorter, and shirts that were more revealing, then the ones worn by Play Golf Designs… while others wore much more traditional clothing. As far as dress code is concerned it seems to be up to the individual players with little in the way of restrictions. Which makes total sense in that they are a competitive golf organization whose players are there based purely on their golf skills and talent. As such they don’t all look good or feel comfortable in “minimal” outfits The fact that a number of the most popular players chose the more revealing outfits is telling though,

In conclusion, I’ll throw this out there. Though it’s a bit off topic. Many men resent the fact that an attractive women can be admired simply for her looks. And resent the fact that an attractive women wields so much power over men. And resent the fact that a woman’s sexuality is so much more highly valued than a man’s is. I think it’s often those resentful men who complain that “the poor women are being objectified”. I think those same men would to be happy to have the option of being “objectified” themselves, But they would call it “making the most of a valued asset” or something like that. The sad thing is that these men do a really good job at pitting women against each other, and making them feel like they’re being exploited for their good looks …instead of being empowered by them.

Helen said...

I guess the question is, Patricia, does it pass the "flip test." Is there a male version of PGD??

Or, as you put in on your blog, is there a similar blogger to you who posts a picture and says, "Blogging is better in a speedo"?

Diane said...

I understood from the get-go that it is entertainment. That doesn't change my opinion in the least. It's still a use of women for sexual, decorative purposes.