Supply and Demand’s Impact on Income Inequality in Golf

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This past weekend husband and wife Martin Piller and Gerina Piller showed strong performances at their PGA and LPGA tournaments.  Martin Piller placed top 10 at the Valero Texas Open and Gerina placed top five at the Swinging Skirts Open.  The power couple both brought home respectable earnings from their events, but the differentiation of these earning illustrate the wage gap of the wage gap between male and female pro golfers.

Gerina Piller brought home $117,163 this weekend, after tying for top three at her event.  Husband Martin Piller placed sixth overall and brought home $233, 740.  Even more striking is that first place at the Swinging Skirts Open played for just $300,000, while firstplace of the Valero Texas open played for $1,116,000.
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Gerina Piller has made the cut for seven events this season, placing at each of these, and has a total earnings this season of $302,832.  Martin Piller has only made the cut in three events, with two top 25 and a top 10 standing, but has a total season earnings of $296,965.

Many see the differences in incomes for men vs women pro golfers due the simple justification of supply and demand.  This argument seems logical, as PGA events draw larger audiences then LPGA events, but does that make this a sound ethical practice?

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Golf is one of the slower movers for income equality, as it is typically seen as a “man’s sport”.  The move is so slow in fact that, on average, male golfers can expect to make 83% more each year then female golfers.  This is from both event earnings as well as sponsorship earnings.  Keep in mind that this is from playing the same game, at the same skill level.  Some say that men are inherently better at the game due to strength, and it is true that men tend to drive the ball 47 yards further, on average, then women.  However women are proven to be 12% more accurate in their drives then men and shoot a GIR 5.3% higher then men.

So while the demand for PGA events might be higher, next time your tuning in, consider an LPGA for some incredible talent.

Or, at the very least, any LPGA event will move fast then a PGA event that involves Jordan Speith.

Written By: Rachel Frnka (Group 9)

Texas Women’s Golf struggles to finish 7th at PING/ASU Invitational

The first full week of April always creates a buzz in the golf world. In the small town of Augusta, Georgia, people travel from around the world to catch a glimpse at a green jacket and collect as much apparel as their wallets allow. However, this year, the Texas Women’s golf team had some excitement of their own. The Longhorns competed in their final tournament before the postseason begins and it left them wanting more.

The women played three rounds of 18 holes over the course of three days. The Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Arizona drew some of the top teams for the PING/ASU Invitational. Competing against No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 Alabama, and No. 5 Northwestern, along with 10 other schools would be a challenge Texas would need to overcome prior to the Big 12 Championships.

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(Above: ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Arizona)

         Sophomore standout Sophia Schubert shot 69-70-73 to finish tied for fourth. She led the Horns to a seventh place finish. Head coach Ryan Murphy commented on Schubert stating her “ball-striking was very solid and her putter was sharp”. The team will need to gain momentum before their upcoming tournament.

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(Above: Sophomore Sophia Schubert at the PING/ASU Invitational)

         The Longhorns will play The Dominion Country Club in San Antonio, Texas from April 22-24. This is the first tournament of the postseason Big 12 Championship. Last year the women finished seventh in the NCAA Regionals and failed to advance. Alum, Bertine Strauss, was the only player to qualify and advance to the NCAA Championship in Bradenton, Florida. The women have their work cut out for them in they hope to improve from last year.

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(Above: Bertine Strauss after competing in the NCAA Regional and advancing to the NCAA Championship)

Click here to keep up with the Texas Longhorns during their postseason tournaments.