Heres what’s going on with the drama surrounding the LPGAs dress code.

This is a woman playing golf.

Image via iStock.

This is a man playing golf.

Image via iStock.

It sure seems like they’re playing the same sport, huh? You’d think the expectations surrounding their attire would reflect that, but a new controversial email sent out by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has thrown that into question.

And people definitely have some thoughts.

Earlier this month, the LPGA notified its players about updates in the organization’s dress code.

The email, sent by LPGA player president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, listed a number of policies regarding players’ clothing and asked members to abide by the guidelines beginning July 17, 2017.

Here’s how the email read, as Golf Digest pointed out:

  • Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no racerback)
  • Plunging necklines are NOT allowed.
  • Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed
  • Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over.
  • Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. You should be dressing yourself to present a professional image. Unless otherwise told “no,” golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed, but cut-offs or jeans with holes are NOT allowed.
  • Workout gear and jeans (all colors) NOT allowed inside the ropes
  • Joggers are NOT allowed

As you might expect, the LPGA’s email sparked a wave of criticism online.

As Teen Vogue put it, the list “leaves you wondering, what is allowed?”

Policing what women wear on the golf course is taking a step backward (maybe even into a previous century), some argued.

“Plain and simple this is a mistake by the LPGA,” one Twitter user wrote. “The athletic wear is fine and crosses no line. #LetThemPlay”

But many people most notably, several LPGA players themselves don’t see why people are making a fuss.

“Theres very minimal change to what our previous dress code is,” golfer Christina Kim who’s currently competing in the LPGA tournament near Toledo, Ohio, this week told The Detroit News. “I dont know what people are making the hoopla about.”

Fellow pro golfer Paige Spiranac tweeted that she doesn’t think the dress code goes far enough.

Amid the backlash, it’s worth comparing these rules to the dress code for men competing in the PGA.*

(*Why the women’s association has an “L” in its name while the men’s association apparently doesn’t need to clarify gender is an article for a different day.)

According to the PGA’s official website, its male “players shall present a neat appearance in both clothing and personal grooming. Clothing worn by players shall be consistent with currently accepted golf fashion.”

And that’s … that.

U.S. Olympic beach volleyball players Misty May-Treanor (left) and Sean Rosenthal (right). Photos by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images, Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

The LPGA, however, maintains that its dress code is certainly not the latest example of any sexist industry double standard.

Amid the uproar, the LPGA released a statement, blasting media reports and claiming the criticism has been misguided.

The statement reads, as Yahoo News reported:

“Recent comments in the media about a ‘new’ LPGA dress code are much to do about nothing. We simply updated our existing policy with minor clarifications, which were directed by our members for our members. This is not a regression, but rather a clarification for members of the policy, with references relevant to today’s fashion styles. There was not meant to be, nor will there be, a discernible difference to what players are currently wearing out on Tour.”

Regardless of the LPGA’s dress code, the fact the organization’s email sparked such strong responses shows this is a discussion we must keep having.

After all, athletes of all genders should be seen as competitors as athletes capable of dressing in the clothes that enable them to be great at their sport not as aesthetic objects to patrol.

“Policing these women’s bodies and clothes takes away from their professional accomplishments,” Suzannah Weiss wrote for Teen Vogue. “And if the sport wants a positive image, body-shaming is not the way to get it.”

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/heres-whats-going-on-with-the-drama-surrounding-the-lpgas-dress-code

What’s it like managing Dustin Johnson — ‘the John Wayne’ of golf?

(CNN)Researching US college golf results a decade ago, veteran sports agent Rocky Hambric’s eye was caught by the name of Dustin Johnson.

Although Johnson played at a small school in South Carolina — Coastal Carolina University in Conway — his results were so good that Hambric decided to send one of his associates, David Winkle, to watch him play.
“I immediately got a phone call back saying ‘This guy is just unbelievable, he is a physical specimen like we’ve never seen in golf, he hits it further than I have ever seen,'” Hambric told CNN in a rare interview.
    After seeing Johnson play for himself, Hambric — the founder and chief executive of Hambric Sports — decided to recruit the athletic American and, in his final year at college in 2007, the future world No.1 signed with Hambric’s company.

      Golf’s past & present: Fitzpatrick, Jutanugarn

    The 33-year-old Johnson has won at least one tournament a year in the past decade, collecting a total 15 career victories.
    He has become one of the sport’s richest players — he earned $27.6 million last year to rank 48th in Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes – with a string of lucrative endorsement contracts, including German sportswear company Adidas and Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot.
    After a couple of near-misses, he finally broke his major duck when he won the US Open last year and is now the world’s top-ranked golfer and joint-favorite to win the Open, which began Thursday at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

    ‘Accidental sports agent’

    Although Hambric has been a golf agent for 40 years, his entry into the world of sports was “almost accidental.”
    A tax accountant based in Dallas, Texas, Hambric had become friends with pro golfer Larry Nelson, who had asked him for some business advice in the late 1970s.
    “After doing a couple of years of that, Larry came to me one day and said ‘I think you should be doing this as your primary occupation,'” Hambric recalled.
    When Nelson won the second of three majors at the 1983 US Open, Hambric decided to take the plunge. He sold his financial advisory business to his partner to become a full-time golf agent.
    “It grew fairly quickly,” said Hambric who, at one stage, represented the four winners of the major championships held between the 1986 and 1987 PGA Championships.

    How to find the next big thing?

      Dustin Johnson wins 2016 U.S. Open

    Fast-forward to 2017, Hambric Sports represents 33 golfers, including this year’s US Open winner, Brooks Koepka, and Scotland’s Martin Laird. It has offices in Dallas and Dublin and recently opened a third, in Los Angeles.
    Although the game has changed since Hambric became a sports agent, there is one constant when it comes to finding golf’s next big thing.
    “One thing that has never been changed in the 40 years that I’ve been doing it is that you look for character,” said Hambric, whose business strategy is based on signing players that are about to turn pro.
    “You look for someone who has the character to persevere, because the game will always present challenges,” he added. “The game of golf is substantially mental, not just physical, and the game itself kind of wears guys down. So we look for that character first, and then to the attributes to the game.”

    Johnson’s challenges

    Johnson has had his fair share of off-course issues, taking six months off in 2014 to address what he called “personal challenges.”
    “The public will never know the extent of which he has worked on himself in every possible way, to make himself a better man, a better father, a better golfer,” Hambric said. “I have never had a client who worked that hard on a personal transformation.”

    ‘The Great One’

    Hambric credits Johnson’s resurrection partly to the wisdom of age and also to the support of his family — his fiancee, Paulina Gretzky, their two young children, and his father-in-law, Canadian ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky.
    Just being around an athlete of the caliber of Wayne Gretzky, the all-time leading scorer in the National Hockey League, a man nicknamed “The Great One,” is an inspiration.
    “It’s more the osmosis of being around someone,” Hambric said.
    “I know Wayne makes a comment from time-to-time, but I don’t think it’s ever to the extent of saying ‘oh let’s sit down and talk about this.’ I think it’s one of those things that is, in a way, like a father and a son, where the dad says something that sticks in the son’s mind for the rest of his life. But there is no doubting the influence, let’s put it that way.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/21/golf/the-open-golf-agent-dustin-johnson/index.html

    Why golf should follow tennis and adopt equal pay for US Open

    Male and female players get equal prize money at tennis majors and the world hasnt imploded. Doing the same in golf would help the game

    Equal pay for equal play. The phrase has been made popular thanks to the US womens soccer teams fight for equal pay and treatment with their male counterparts.

    Those who argue against parity say its a matter of simple economics: male sports tend to generate more revenue, therefore men should make more than women. Its an argument that makes sense in some cases (of course, the pay gap could be mitigated if the media covered womens sports more generously, but thats an argument for another day.)

    But what happens when an organization operates and runs a national championship for men and women? Is that organization obligated to ensure equal pay for the participants of each event?

    This week, female golfers will play the US Open at Trump National golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The tournament is operated by the United States Golf Association (USGA), which also put on the mens US Open each year. Its a spectacular event, with the field made up of the best players in the world. Its also the biggest purse of the year for both genders.

    This year, the mens purse was the highest in its history at $12m, with the winner Brooks Koepka taking home $2.16m. The womans purse is set at $5m, meaning that that the third-place finisher at the mens US Open made only $5,000 less than 2016 womens US Open champion, Brittany Lang, who won $810,000 for the week.

    I have been fortunate enough to play in two womens US Opens. In 2011, I made the cut at the Broadmoor golf club, and finished tied for 64th, making a whopping $7,735. After my expenses of a hotel, flight, and caddy for the week, I brought home about $1,000. That same year, at the mens US Open, Wes Heffernan finished dead last and made $16,539. I played my heart out that week, as Im sure Heffernan did. So why didnt the USGA see us as equals? Are the women not playing the same amount of holes? Are they not putting in the work for the week during their practice rounds and range sessions to increase their chances of success?

    Perhaps the USGA should look to tennis, where men and women are paid the same at majors (and larger tournaments such as Indian Wells and the Miami Open). Sure, some guys dont like it, but there have been no mass boycotts from the men, and it would be hard to imagine male golfers walking away from a chance to play at the US Open.

    Its not like the USGA lacks the funds to make this happen. They currently have a 12-year deal with Fox Sports estimated to be worth about $1.1bn. That means the contract is worth around $93m a year until it expires in 2027. Dont they have the $7m extra to add to the womens purse?

    In any case, the womens US Open could do with some good publicity. The USGA has been mired in controversy for keeping the womens tournament at a golf course owned by Donald Trump, someone who has a history of treating women with contempt. Surely it would have quietened some of the USGAs critics if they paid the women equally, and sent a message that counters the presidents attitude to women?

    I understand why the PGA and LPGA tour have different purse prizes: they are separate organizations with different funds available to them. But the USGA represents men and women. If they cant add funds to the purse, then perhaps they should pay the men less. Would it be so awful for the male players to make $1m for first-place at the US Open? They have three other majors where they have the opportunity to make $1.8m or more if they win.

    So far, no male golfers have come out in support of equal pay, and no women have boycotted the US Open. While it would be great to see men advocate for womens golf, as Andy Murray does so impressively for womens tennis, the fact is that it should be the USGA, as golfs largest organization, doing the legwork.

    The USGA should be praised for raising the womens purse at the US Open over the years, but its not good enough to stop there. If the organization want to the grow the game, they must show they value women equally. Equal pay at one tournament, at least would send a message to all the girls out there hoping to play in the US Open one day.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jul/13/us-womens-open-golf-equal-pay

    Freak golf cart incident kills Florida woman who famously sought wedding ‘crashers’

    A Florida woman who made headlines after inviting hundreds of wedding crashers to her reception in 2015 died last week from injuries sustained when she was dragged by a golf cart earlier this month.

    Shelly Osterhout, 51, of Fort Myers died July 20 from injuries she suffered four days earlier in a freak accident in north Orlando. Osterhout had been in the area that day to visit her parents before going out for drinks, according to the News-Press.

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    Osterhout and Timothy Foxworth, 36, of North Carolina left a restaurant together and went to The Villages retirement community where they took a spin on Foxworth’s father’s golf cart, FOX4 reported.

    Osterhout tumbled out of the cart and was dragged for several feet behind the vehicle. Foxworth, who was intoxicated at the time, hauled Osterhouts body to a flower bed and left her there, according to the Wildwood Police Department. He did not call the police to notify them of Osterhouts injuries.

    Foxworth was arrested later in the day and charged with hit and run causing great bodily injury and driving under the influence causing serious/great bodily injuries, according to the News-Press. The case is being investigated and charges could change for Foxworth due to Osterhouts death.

    Osterhout, who owned a small business called Computer Solutions of America, was well-known in her neighborhood — especially after she invited her community and strangers to her Oct. 10, 2015 wedding to Lee Sheriff Deputy Paul Johnson. The wedding made national headlines.

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    “She was a community leader,” Osterhouts son Jacob told FOX4. “She was very active in the community. She was a professor, involved with a ton of networking organizations, and lots of churches. She was constantly encouraging people to empower themselves to make the changes you want to see done in your community.

    Florida state Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, who officiated Osterhouts wedding, wrote: I will miss you but remember all the energy, goodness and happiness you brought to this world. Rest In Peace dear Shelly.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/07/28/freak-golf-cart-incident-kills-florida-woman-who-famously-sought-wedding-crashers.html

    Apollo Makes $1.1 Billion Wager That Golf Remains a Cash Cow

    Apollo Global Management LLC is betting that the beleaguered golf industry is finally getting out of the rough.

    The private equity firm agreed to pay $1.1 billion for ClubCorp Holdings Inc., a country-club operator whose properties include California’s Mission Hills and the Woodlands in Texas. Apollo is gaining hundreds of thousands of members in the bargain, providing a steady source of cash.

    The deal follows a challenging stretch for the golf industry, which saw participation decline after a peak in 2003. Hundreds of courses have closed in recent years, and the slump rocked both retailers and equipment manufacturers. Golfsmith International, the biggest golf chain, filed for bankruptcy last year. And Nike Inc., which had hitched its golf fortunes to Tiger Woods’s career, stopped selling equipment for the sport.

    But golf’s core participants remain enthusiastic, and Apollo is getting ClubCorp’s more than 430,000 members — an affluent and reliable set of customers.

    “We plan to leverage Apollo’s resources and expertise while working with ClubCorp’s dedicated team to continue to grow the business,” David Sambur, a senior partner at Apollo, said in a statement Sunday.

    Golf Is Elitist, Hard, In Decline, But Does It Care?: QuickTake

    ClubCorp’s investors will receive $17.12 a share in cash in the transaction, a 31 percent premium over the closing stock price on July 7. The shares rose to $17.06 on Monday, just short of the deal price.

    Too Low?

    The nature of ClubCorp’s business makes it a logical target for a private equity firm, Stifel Financial Corp. analyst Steven Wieczynski said in a note. The question is whether investors are getting a fair price, he said. The transaction equates to a roughly 7.5 multiple on estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2018. He sees a multiple of as much as 8.5 — equivalent to a price of $20 a share — as a better representation of ClubCorp’s steady business.

    Takeover speculation began heating up in January, when Dallas-based ClubCorp announced that it had hired Jefferies Group and Wells Fargo & Co. to evaluate options. In May, the company added two new independent contractors in an agreement with activist shareholder FrontFour Capital Group.

    The company had attracted critics who said golf’s decline would hamstring the business. Last year, short seller Kerrisdale Capital Management targeted ClubCorp, noting that participation in golf was shrinking, particularly among younger players, and that operating golf clubs was a capital-intensive business.

    Prior to the deal announcement, the shares had declined about 25 percent since reaching a closing high this year on Feb. 21 — the day before ClubCorp reported weak fourth-quarter earnings.

    Firestone Club

    Founded in 1957, the company owns or operates more than 200 private golf, country and private clubs. Its properties include the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, and the Capital Club Beijing. The transaction is slated to close in the fourth quarter.

    Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel for ClubCorp. Citigroup Inc. was lead financial adviser to Apollo, with RBC Capital Markets LLC, Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG assisting. Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as Apollo’s legal counsel.

    The deal for ClubCorp is the latest in a string of take-private transactions for New York-based Apollo, which deployed more money last year than ever in its history. Apollo scooped up public companies including ADT Corp., Fresh Market Inc., Diamond Resorts International Inc., Outerwall Inc. and Rackspace Hosting Inc. In May, the firm agreed to buy communications infrastructure provider West Corp. for about $5.1 billion including debt and earlier this month, completed its acquisition of Lumileds, the lighting-components division it carved out of Royal Philips NV.

    To replenish its coffers, the firm has set a $23.5 billion cap on its new global buyout fund. The pool, the firm’s ninth, will be the largest ever raised by a private equity firm if it exceeds the $21.7 billion that Blackstone Group LP gathered for its fifth pool from 2005 to 2007.

    Apollo, led by founders Leon Black, Josh Harris and Marc Rowan, oversaw $197.5 billion in private equity holdings, credit assets and real estate as of March 31.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-09/golf-s-clubcorp-agrees-to-be-bought-by-apollo-for-1-1-billion

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    Golf ball diver recovering after alligator attack in Florida

    From his hospital bed Saturday, a professional diver described his brush with death when an alligator attacked him in a Charlotte County golf course lake.

    Scott Lahodik, 51, is a sub-contractor who has been hired at golf courses throughout the state to recover golf balls from water hazards.

    He was working in a lake at the Palms course at the Rotonda Golf and Country Club Friday when an alligator nearly ripped his arm off.

    “He just came and, full blast, grabbed my arm all the way back in his throat and then he started to roll with me,” Lahodik told FOX 13 during a FaceTime call from his hospital room at Lee Memorial  Hospital in Ft. Myers. “He rolled a couple times and then he still didn’t let go so I knew I had to  do something, so I started punching him up by the eye and then he let go.”

    Lahodik was able to make it out of the lake and, realizing he was now in a race to save his own life,  he jumped in his golf cart and sped back to the clubhouse.

    “I was going to lay down on the green, but I knew if I did I didn’t think I would make it,” he said.

    He was rushed to the hospital where he had surgery and is in the recovery process.

    “There’s probably over 400 staples and stitches and we’re just praying no infection sets in over the next couple days,” Lahodik said.

    Lahodik said he’d made a career diving for golf balls since he retired from the military in 1988.  He’s doubts he’ll ever be able to do it again.

    His wife, Maritza Lahodik, said she’ll never forget the call from her husband moments after he escaped the animal’s jaws.

    “I got a call with him screaming on the other line with a gut-wrenching sound telling me that he had been attacked by an alligator,” she said, adding she knows how lucky he is to be alive. “Given the  fact that this gator was the size that it was, where it happened and how it had happened, I have no  qualms about saying that this was a miracle, that I believe that God was protecting him.”

    Read more from FOX 13 News.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/07/09/golf-ball-diver-recovering-after-alligator-attack-in-florida.html

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