I have many male friends who really enjoy presenting me with suspicious sexist articles to see how I feel. Normally I take the bait and can’t resist seeing what has been cooked up by some male wally with the aim of discrediting women. But I must say that I got a real giggle out of this article. In Kent, England, a company called Eye Candy Caddies took the initiative of opening an all-female, all-model caddy service to … um … spice up the game. These young beautiful women were then trained in golf etiquette, uniformed in the proper clothes and ready for hire, or employment, or something.

It did not go down well.

It was found to be inappropriate for a game that had been selected as an Olympic sport, unprofessional and damaged the appeal of golf for younger players of either sex.

At first I just had a giggle, and then it actually started to bug me. Yes it is not right to make golf appear to a “male bastion” but these young women were trained and skilled. A Leaderboard spokesperson said that for the development of the game, there should be efforts to ensure that it is inclusive, professional and culturally inoffensive.

Golf as an inclusive sport is a bit of a laugh. Maybe it’s just me but when I drive past a golf course I don’t see too many women or too many poor folk roaming the greens. It’s not inclusive and perhaps putting the face of women on TV in the role of caddy might be a first step to their acceptance. Would it have been better if they were ugly women? Women that were less distracting to the male players?

They want the game to be professional. The women were dressed in correct attire, had been trained in golfing etiquette and were doing their job just like any other caddy. It’s not like they were wandering the Kent golf course in bunny suits. There’s a picture on the site and the girls are not flashing any skin or bending over their golf clubs. Is it more professional to fire them or to have a meeting where they are introduced to members and the boundaries are clearly outlined? I’m going with the latter.

Culturally offensive? I’m not even sure they know what they mean here. Golf culture is a very particular culture. What is the offensive element? That they are women or that they are beautiful? Or maybe is it the unequal power balance between caddy and golfer. I don’t think so. Caddies have been available for years and nobody has complained until now.

And the vibe about the Olympic sport … well I say blah blah blah. They have pretty poppies at the end of every Tour de France stage, they pop the champagne at the Grand Prix and cheer the rugby teams on. It is not unusual.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not for the celebration of only particular types of women because of their looks. But jeepers creepers, they are caddies. It is not like they’re standing on the sidelines offering alternative services. That’s all you get. So maybe the issue is really all about the balls.

They don’t have any, and they’re stopping old men from getting theirs into the right holes.


Jen Thorpe

Jen Thorpe

Jennifer is a feminist, activist and advocate for women's rights. She has a Masters in Politics from Rhodes University, and a Masters in Creative Writing from UCT. In 2010 she started a women's writing...

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