Is there equality between women and men in golf?! Iona Stephen reacts



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Is there equality between women and men in golf?! Iona Stephen reacts

There is a lot of talk about equality between women and men in sports. Iona Stephen, who is a Sky Sports Golf commentator, spoke to Golf Monthly's Mark Townsend about the prize fund and what she expects in the future. “I do believe that in the next five years, if I’m being bold, or 10 if I’m being realistic, we will see that The Open and the Women’s Open will provide an equal prize fund for men and women.

”- she said. Stephen spoke of tennis as an example of how strong women can be, and hopes to popularize women's golf in the future. “The women’s side of the game has enormously engaging narratives and characters.

You can watch documentaries on Netflix about tennis – Naomi Osaka and the Williams sisters. We should be able to learn more about the likes of the Korda sisters. There is a responsibility with every woman involved in golf, both from the broadcast and from the playing side, that this is the product that we have to sell to viewers.

Ultimately it is about demand. You have to have people wanting to turn the TV on to watch women’s golf. I have often thought about the opportunity that sits there right now for a smart media group or someone to step in and just own that space.

On Netflix there is the Formula 1: Drive to Survive and I think there is so much more to be told about the female players. If you look at the rivalry between Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda and how the [2021] Player of the Year came down to the final round of the final tournament, again echoing the Formula 1 season, it was incredible”.

Iona Stephen

Iona also spoke about the competition between men and women. “I don’t think a woman playing on the men’s tour, or a man playing on the women’s tour, is the answer. I think the PGA and the DP World Tours do a good job in selling the rhetoric and the narrative of the characters that exist within the game, and I think that the women’s game could learn from that.

The PGA Tour is now incentivising the social media presence of its own players [via the Player Impact Programme]”.