Legitimising and Delegitimising Women Coaches in the Golf Industry: Women Golf Professionals’ Experiences of Advocacy

Alex Mollin, Justine Allen*, April Henning

*Corresponding author for this work

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The underrepresentation of women in sport coaching continues to be recognised by researchers and some international organisations. Golf too suffers from a dramatic underrepresentation of women coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of women golf coaches and how they navigate this male-dominated coaching domain with a particular focus on experiences of advocacy. The research was designed to qualitatively capture women PGA Professionals’ lived experiences. Women PGA Professionals (N = 11) with 10–34 years of experience (M = 19.8) participated in semi-structured interviews that were structured on the four Ecological Systems Theory (EST) layers. Data were thematically analysed using the EST layers for initial categorization. From this, four themes were developed: recruitment and opportunity; on the course and in the pro shop; perceptions of women PGA Professionals; and advocacy and allies. The themes were part of two related processes: legitimisation and delegitimisation. These dual processes work to either validate women coaches—both as individuals and as a collective—or to undermine them within the profession, respectively, and operate over the four EST layers. Further, these processes are not always discreet and the two may overlap in unanticipated ways.
Original languageEnglish
Article number617
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2023

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