Ladies' golf and the media
The post-Solheim exposure was great, but I'm under no illusions as to where the ladies' game is on the media's radar
Europe in 2011
I DON’T know why ladies’ golf is covered so poorly other than most of the editors are men and they’re not into it.
I was playing the week after the Solheim so I couldn’t comment for definite but I’m sure there were a couple of days’ decent coverage before normal standard was resumed.
That’s just the way it is, I don’t worry about it and there’s not too much more the players can do if the interest isn’t there. In the States it is a lot better and in Japan and Korea the women’s game is huge and, if anything, bigger than the men.
Most of the LPGA tournaments are televised live, mainly on the Golf Channel, though I’m not sure there is a ladies’ golf magazine anywhere in the whole of the United States.
I’m writing this before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards though I would be staggered if our Solheim girls won the team award. I think we should win it but I would rate our chances as zero.
I haven’t been for about 12 years which is a shame as it used to be my favourite programme of the year and I would always love to go.
In 1996 when I won two Majors and 10 tournaments I didn’t even get on the shortlist, Damon Hill came first then and he hadn’t even won the World Championship.
If a man picked up two Majors and 10 events around the world then it would be unthinkable for him not to win it.
What tends to happen with us is that we will get a couple of seconds and something along the lines of ‘oh and by the way the European women won the Solheim Cup’.
I would be staggered if we (Europe) won the team award at the BBC sports personality of the year ceremony.
If they showed loads of tournaments on TV then obviously things would be different, people would get to recognise and know the players and the interest levels would go up.
I understand our event in Dubai wasn’t even being televised live which is a real shame. As for the highlights package for the LET that they show on Sky – well, in truth, the coverage is rubbish.
To be honest I have stopped watching it as the last time I turned it on, for the Nations Cup in April, they showed me holing a putt and the next shot was of my partner Mel Reid’s approach to the same hole!
People will give it a go but if you have that sort of rubbish being televised then they won’t come back.
I’m not a fan of golf highlights anyway as the excitement is in the unpredictability of it. You can have someone with a four-shot lead blow it and, unless you don’t know the result, then it’s never going to be that dramatic.
I have been miked up in events in the States and I have no problem with that at all – if people enjoy watching it then that’s great.
You know it’s there and there are occasions when you put your hand over the microphone but generally it is just normal chat and it is fun.
I have never had media training as such though they do offer the rookies it these days.
I won the US Women’s Open in 1987 as a relative unknown so I had to learn pretty quickly. Others don’t enjoy it and it’s one of those things you are either good at or you’re not.
I know Becky is talking about caddies this month and I would agree that you have to be friends first and then they become your caddy.
I think I have had seven caddies in about 26 years and Johnny and I have been together for five years now and I think we’ve had just one argument so that is pretty good going.