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Trans LPGA Golfer Hits Pause After Pushback – HotAir

Over the weekend, Karen wrote about the latest transgender kerfuffle impacting the world of women’s sports. If you missed that, you should go back and read it first to get caught up. Hailey Davidson is a trans golfer who recently won an NXXT Golf tournament in Florida, positioning himself for a shot at a spot in the LPGA. (NXXT is a “feeder” golf tour where enough victories can lead to LPGA status.) When the news went public, significant pushback began. Why is a man being allowed to play in the women’s league, even if he dresses like a lady, has had trans surgery, and has taken hormones? The league scrambled to respond and came up with a solution that The Daily Caller described as brilliant. They put a survey in the field among the rest of the players seeking comment on their current gender policies. They are also requesting that Davidson undergo a new round of testosterone testing.

Transgender golfer Hailey Davidson “won” a recent NXXT Women’s Pro Tour event, increasing their likelihood that they will become the first trans golfer in history to participate in the LPGA Tour.

However, there’s been an incredible amount of backlash against Davidson, and props to the tour, they responded with common sense, human decency and protection of female sports, which could mean that Davidson is toast — absolutely fantastic.

A biological male, Davidson was “victorious” Jan. 17 in the NXXT Women’s Classic, putting them at the top in the points standings. And it’s an even bigger deal when you realize that the Top Five in points will be given not just one, but two exempt Epson Tour starts. The Epson Tour is the LPGA Tour’s feeder tour.

As you would expect, Riley Gaines applauded the move.

It may be a bit premature to begin celebrating just yet. I would like to think that the other ladies of NXXT would stand together in support of keeping women’s sports exclusively for women, but it’s far from a sure thing. Many of them may be so fearful of being on the receiving end of the J.K. Rowling treatment that they’ll go along just to get along. There’s also no guarantee that Davidson will fail a testosterone test if he’s been keeping up with his treatments.

Some might be tempted to believe that this case isn’t really that big of a deal because golf is a non-contact sport. The impact could be seen as being less significant than allowing men to compete against women in sports like boxing or martial arts. But as Karen alluded to previously, that’s not the case at all. Davidson didn’t even begin “transitioning” until the age of 24, long after going through puberty and growing to his full size and strength. Hormones can reduce male performance a bit, but not nearly enough to bridge the gap.

How big of a difference does it make? Consider the following. In the modern era of the PGA, starting in 2003, five women have entered PGA tournaments to play against the men. Each and every one of them was an LPGA tournament champion, among the very best in the sport. Not a single one of them has ever made the cut and played on into the weekend. That list includes Michelle Wie, a legend of the sport, who tried eight times. They were beaten to the later rounds by a collection of men that included names you’ve probably never even heard of unless you follow the sport like a fanatic. That’s how big the disparity is between the men and the ladies in golf. The PGA has no gender restrictions. They welcome women to play if they can get through the qualifiers, but it rarely happens.

This isn’t to say that women are bad golfers by nature. Many of them are totally brilliant. But the reality is that men have longer arms, more developed back and arm muscles, and their hips swivel differently. They swing the club faster and they drive the ball much further. Accuracy is important in golf, but it becomes less critical if you can land a drive within spitting distance of the green on a par four hole. Hailey Davidson has that natural advantage and no amount of surgery or hormones will eliminate it. How else do you explain someone with a score that wouldn’t get them within a mile of a PGA qualifier sliding into contention in an LPGA tournament?

This isn’t a question of “transphobia” or discrimination or whatever. It’s a question of fairness. It’s a question of honoring the true intent of Title IX and providing opportunities for exceptional women to excel. Hailey Davidson is taking a spot away from an actual woman who worked her entire life for a shot at the big time and it’s not fair.

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