Home' New Zealand Golf Magazine : NZGM September 2013 Contents "There were a lot of new players on both sides this time. Which is great. It keeps things fresh. Going in, I
wasn't sure how it was going to go. But it was a great occasion. There's a lot of camaraderie on both sides.
So it was great to watch, as it was last time. I really thought we had it, but we lost. That's the beauty of the
Solheim Cup and the beauty of match play."
Alongside her many achievements on the course, Inkster has forever been one of the more eloquent
members of a gol ing generation that has always had to battle for the same level of recognition a orded their
male counterparts. On the subject of the on-going stooshie regarding the all-maleness of the R&A and the
Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, she is predictably frustrated.
"I don't see anything changing any time soon," she says with a shake of the head. "It's going to take
something like a top male professional saying he's not going to play in the Open because he wants his
daughters to have the same opportunities he has. It will take something like that to change minds.
"The people that make the rules, I just don't know where they are coming from. They have to be above
discrimination. But they don't seem to see it that way. To me, this is a black-and-white issue. But they seem
to think it is a huge grey area. It's ine to have an all-male club; I have no problem with that. But don't hold a
major championship there."
As for potential solutions, Inkster is one who sees more a irmative action as the way ahead. Whatever
its merits, the policy of appeasement adopted by so many of the female game's ruling bodies has failed to
make any discernible di erence, practically or otherwise.
"We've always tried to get along," continues Inkster. "But it's not working. Sometimes you just have to take
a stand. It may hurt us for ive years or whatever, but long-term it has to be the right thing to do. I feel like we
have given in too often -- and I include the LPGA in that.
"We need to make the men blink, which they don't seem to be doing right now. I hate to say this, but they
do seem to think the women's game is secondary to the men. I'm not surprised to hear that many of the UK's
national newspapers -- those that were apparently so outraged at Muir ield during the Open Championship
-- didn't send their golf correspondents to St. Andrews for the Women's British Open. That's what we deal
On a brighter note, Inkster sees a healthy future for the LPGA Tour as it expands more and more
internationally, even if things are likely to get more di icult for working mothers.
"I think there is good and bad with how the LPGA Tour has gone over the last few years," she says. "It's
good that we are becoming a worldwide tour. But the people I feel sorry for are the mums out there. It's
hard to take a child to Asia for ive weeks. I was very fortunate that I raised my kids domestically. I could take
them almost every week. Now though, it's way tougher to play full-time and be a good mother.
"We have lost players because they wanted to have kids and a 'normal' life. Lorena Ochoa is one and, later
in her life, Annika Sorenstam is another. And there will be more I'm sure. I don't think you'll see the likes of
Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer playing at the age I am now, or even into their 40s. They'll be home with
Still, with her two daughters now in college, Inkster shows no sign of quitting the life she has enjoyed
since turning professional in 1983. A competitor in 34 straight US Women's Opens, she is rightly proud of
"I still really enjoy it," she says. "I play 15 16 weeks each year and I pick and choose which ones. I still get
frustrated with my game and I know I'll never be number one, but I'm okay with that. My consistency is not
as good. I've lost some distance. But I don't get wrapped up in the money-list or the world rankings, anything
like that. I've been there, done that. I play for only one reason: I love to compete."
All in all, not a bad epitaph.
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