Golf-USGA launches program to boost media coverage of women's golf

·1 min read

By Rory Carroll

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The United States Golf Association (USGA) on Wednesday launched a program aimed at increasing media coverage of the women's game by offering financial support to news organisations.

The Driving Equity Grant Program will award grants to outlets to offset the costs associated with increased coverage of the women's game.

Recent studies show that only 4% of sports coverage and storytelling features female athletes, the USGA said.

"Today, women's sports, including golf, are stuck in a recurring cycle where media outlets don't always receive significant return on investment when they cover events that lack household names," said Craig Annis, the USGA's chief brand officer.

"Simultaneously, it is nearly impossible for a sport to build household names without consistent and rich storytelling from the media."

Annis said the USGA feels a deep responsibility to be a leader in breaking that cycle.

"This is not a problem that will be solved overnight," he said.

"However, if the entire industry works together and shines a brighter light on women in the game, we have an opportunity to change the future of golf."

As part of the grant application, outlets will be required to demonstrate how the monetary support will enhance their coverage and ultimately shine a brighter light on female golfers.

The USGA also kicked off a video series called "Open Minded" on Wednesday, which will profile current and future stars in the sport to create stronger connections between fans and players.

The announcements come on the eve of the 76th U.S. Women's Open, which is being held for the first time at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

(Editing by Toby Davis)