The Englishwoman was speaking on the current state of the LET on the latest BBC Golf Podcast
Mel Reid: LET Players Have Had To Get Part-Time Jobs
The GolfSixes took place this weekend and one of the greatest takeaways from it was just how good it was to get the women involved.
European stalwarts such as Catriona Matthew, Charley Hull, Mel Reid, Georgia Hall and Carlota Ciganda all played and added so much to the event.
For those who haven’t seen much women’s golf before, it drew attention to them and hopefully helped out the Ladies European Tour which has been struggling in recent times.
It showed that men and women can certainly play in golf tournaments together and viewers will surely be open to seeing more of it.
Mel Reid, who lost in the quarter finals with partner Carlota Ciganda, was on the BBC Golf Podcast ‘The Cut’ this week and made a startling comment about the struggles of the LET.
The six-time LET winner said that some players have had to get part-time jobs due to a lack of funds.
“A lot of my friends, who have been on Tour for 12 years, have had to get part-time jobs. Golf is supposed to be the second highest paid women’s sport,” she told the BBC’s Iain Carter and Andrew Cotter.
She continued, “they are elite athletes but if they are having to work part-time jobs how are they meant to put in the hours to get the best out of their abilities? It’s just not right.”
Reid told the BBC that the LET “needs help” and that it was “heartbreaking” to see the lack of tournaments on the schedule.
Reid said, “When I first came on Tour it was thriving and we had endless tournaments where we could take weeks off.
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“I know there’s a lack of money through sponsorship. That makes it tough for girls trying to break through as young professionals because the LET was a great place to start your career.”
This comes just days after Sky and the LET announced an extension to a broadcast deal which will take the partnership into its 20th year, which, on the face of it, paints a very positive picture.
Sky will show every LET event this season either live or via highlight shows and will once again broadcast the Solheim Cup which takes place next year at Gleneagles.
However, the LET is in a very different state to the men’s European Tour which has 51 tournaments in over 30 countries this season.
The 2018 Ladies European Tour schedule currently has just 15 events, including the GolfSixes, a US Women’s Open Qualifier, the European Golf Team Championships and an event with a total purse of €120,000 – over four times less than the €504,000 won by 2017 Women’s British Open champion In-Kyung Kim. There are no events scheduled for June and just one tournament in July.
Last year’s Order of Merit leader Georgia Hall picked up just shy of €370,000 on the LET. 2017 LPGA Order of Merit winner Sung Hyun Park won $2.335m (€1.965m).
A statement from the LET read that ‘there are still more to be announced for this year in the near future.’
‘The LET is in discussions with a number of leads for new tournaments next year and expects to make some exciting announcements this summer, with a view to publishing a full schedule for next year.’
If would be fantastic for the women’s game in Europe if the LET do indeed publish a full schedule next year. With the Solheim Cup and a broadcast deal with Sky Sports, women’s golf in Europe can surely boom again, the players just need the opportunities.
We just need the sponsors and the eyeballs to see just how good these girls really are.
Let us know your thoughts on how the LET can get back to its former glories