Mehmet: Why do we not have more black golfers?

Inci Mehmet: “The global dominator of golf, my hero, Tiger Woods, is a black golfer, so I struggle to understand, to be honest, why we don’t have more black golfers.”

By Ali Stafford

Last Updated: 10/07/20 10:33pm








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Ladies European Tour player Inci Mehmet questions the lack of black golfers at the highest level and looks at what can be done to make golf more accessible.

Ladies European Tour player Inci Mehmet questions the lack of black golfers at the highest level and looks at what can be done to make golf more accessible.

Ladies European Tour player Inci Mehmet has called for more programmes to increase diversity in golf and has questioned why there are not more black golfers at the highest level of the sport.

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Mehmet was responding to comments made by former world No 1 Lee Westwood on CNN about the sport’s handling of the Black Lives Matter campaign and questions surrounding how golf can be more accessible.

Westwood said that golf was “still perceived as a white activity” and the sport “must be for all people”, while Mehmet believes there remains a lack of opportunities for those from ethnic minorities to take up the game.

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“The global dominator of golf, my hero, Tiger Woods, is a black golfer, so I struggle to understand, to be honest, why we don’t have more black golfers,” Mehmet told Sky Sports Golf.

“I think it’s a bit of a vicious circle and that there needs to be more programmes put in place to make golf more accessible, because it’s still quite an elitist sport.

Harold Varner is among the golfers to speak out about the lack of diversity Harold Varner is among the golfers to speak out about the lack of diversity

Harold Varner is among the golfers to speak out about the lack of diversity

“It’s not easy to join a club, it’s not easy to buy a set of golf clubs, it’s not cheap. It needs to be more accessible for starters and we need to have programmes that provide other people with greater opportunities.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has previously stated the need for the Tour to “continue the conversation” and be “part of the solution” in combating racial inequality, with just a handful of professional black golfers worldwide, although Mehmet believes positive steps have already been made in the United States compared to the UK.

Monahan and all PGA Tour players stopped for a minute's silence at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June, in memory of George Floyd Monahan and all PGA Tour players stopped for a minute's silence at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June, in memory of George Floyd

Monahan and all PGA Tour players stopped for a minute’s silence at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June, in memory of George Floyd

“I think If you look at the colleges in America, they’re doing a much better job at making golf more inclusive,” Mehmet added. “They have the capability to bring people in, no matter what your background is and no matter where you’re from and build these incredible programmes.

“We’ve seen Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland come out of these universities and immediately in contention to win on the PGA Tour. So, for me, I think it’s about representation.

“If we look at golf in the UK, we still don’t have enough people from the minorities that are members of golf clubs. There needs to be something put in my place for golf as a sport, stereotypically an elitist sport, to be more accessible.”

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