Meghan MacLaren thankful for LPGA partnership with Ladies European Tour
"At least we've got some support and going forward, after this year, we'll be in a stronger position than ever"
Last Updated: 19/05/20 5:25pm
The Ladies European Tour would have struggled have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic without their partnership with the LPGA Tour, according to two-time LET winner Meghan MacLaren.
The women's schedule has been decimated by the coronavirus outbreak, with the Ladies European Tour limited to three tournaments so far in 2020 and the next scheduled event not until mid-July at the earliest.
The LET and LPGA Tour announced a joint venture at the end of last year to support the growth of women's professional golf, with MacLaren grateful of that relationship during uncertain times.
"I dread to imagine where we'd be if we hadn't gone into this partnership with the LPGA Tour," MacLaren told The Golf Show. "The LET is a tour that I've been proud to be a part of for the last couple of years, but it's no secret that economically we weren't in the best of positions.
"And that's when golf was pushing on and women's sport had a bit of support behind it, so we would not have handled this particularly well, I don't think. At least we've got some support and going forward, after this year, we'll be in a stronger position than ever.
"The schedule was really exciting for this year and it's nice to see young girls and girls in college really looking forward to playing in Europe and seeing it as a viable career. It's fun, it's motivating and it's a place that can push you. Fingers crossed, after this year, that it will still all happen."
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The lack of tournament golf has had financial implications for golfers, with many struggling for income until the professional game is able to resume.
"It's not easy," MacLaren added. "The government have come out with a lot of support schemes and there's a lot out there, but we're in a strange position with golf and playing professional sport.
"It's so unpredictable, our income, which means try to get any government support is quite difficult. Usually there would be girls looking for part-time jobs, but in this climate that's not easy either. You just have to sit tight and hope that things get better."
MacLaren also gave her reaction to Sunday's TaylorMade Driving Relief and agreed with Mel Reid's comments on social media about a lack of female presence in the charity event.
"It's a difficult situation because it was for charity, it raised a huge amount of money and it was a brilliant initiative, so I didn't feel comfortable critiquing it at that particular event," MacLaren said.
"Having said that, what Mel [Reid] posted online, it had gone through my mind as well. It's almost normal that an event would take place without any questions of females being involved.
"I think it wasn't just the players where it was noticeable, I'm pretty sure there wasn't any female commentators and production-wise it was hard to even see a woman on the golf course.
"It's just difficult in our position, that it's still the norm, that we still have to talk about this. That it still has to be discussed, that you have to look at comments on social media with people telling Mel that she's completely out of order or has got the argument all wrong.
"I think those of us in the industry know that this has so many layers to it and you can't just put the supply and demand argument forward without looking at all the steps that come before that.
"All the investment that goes into junior golf and the media coverage of events. There's such a global picture to this issue that it can't just be fixed overnight.
"We are making progress, of course, but it would nice if an event like that would have an equal number of men and women without it being questioned."