Last March, a female collegiate basketball player from the University of Oregon went viral when she posted a video of the “weight room” at the 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, which consisted of a lone rack of dumbbells. The image was juxtaposed with footage of the men’s tournament’s weight room, which was expansive, with multiple machines and free weights.
Social media outrage was swift, and the NCAA vice president of women’s basketball responded that the organization was “actively working to enhance existing resources.”
While that was an egregious example, the discrepancy in amenities for men’s events versus women’s exists at the professional level too — even in pro golf. While the women’s game has made great strides in recent years, on this week’s episode of Off Course with Claude Harmon, two-time LPGA winner Marina Alex explained why there is still room for improvement when it comes to tournament amenities at LPGA Tour stops.
“I really want them to do like, a day-in-the-life segment and just take like, one of the guys,” she said. “They make a ton of money. They fly private, they rent houses, they have chefs, they have all of these things.”
“Free dry cleaning!” Harmon chimed in. “Courtesy cars!”
“I just want to throw them in like, one of our events that are not necessarily like a major, or doesn’t have all the glitz and glam,” Alex continued. “I don’t want to throw our events under the bus but there are a couple events that probably need a little sprucing up and I would love to throw them out there for a week and just see what they do.”
Alex cited the recent DIO Implant LA Open at Wilshire Country Club as an example of a host course that, while an excellent venue golf-wise, couldn’t accommodate things like a club trailer or fitness trailer, because there was no place to park it.
“I would love to see someone show up for a week — can’t get your clubs re-gripped, can’t get any new equipment, can’t go work out,” Alex said. “That would be fun. I would love to see how that would work out.”
In terms of money and purse size, though, there are definite gains being made.
“The majors — that gap is starting to get bridged, and it should,” Alex said, citing the significant increase in purse sizes the LPGA has experienced this season. “It’s definitely getting better.”
For more from Alex, including why her second career win was so sweet, and the big plans she has following her pro golf career, check out the full interview below.