This Is “Ladies’ Night”: A Case Study of a Grassroots Golf Program for Black Females
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While there is a growing body of literature concerning the experiences of racial minorities in the mainstream sports of basketball and football, less is known of the experiences of Black females in non-traditional sports such as golf. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of Black females engaged in the Ladies’ Night golf program with a specific focus on how gender, race, and social class interact to shape their experiences, as well as if a sense of community is experienced, and if present what contributes to this. In order to address the purpose and research questions, I conducted an intrinsic qualitative case study of a golf program founded and run by a Black female in which the majority of the participants are Black female beginner golfers. Individual interviews with the golf instructor and seven of her participants were conducted. These women were self-identifying Black and female who attended at least three of the original ladies’ clinics. Additional data were gathered through two observations of the ladies’ clinics, pictures and commentary placed on social media, demographic information, and my reflexive journal. The findings revealed four main themes. First, the participants described the challenges associated with being both Black and female in golf. Second, the ladies’ clinics serve as safe spaces where Black females can learn the game of golf in a non-intimidating and relaxed environment. This safe space environment is created through the instructor being relatable, the TopGolf environment contributing to a relaxed atmosphere, the participants feeling as though they belong to a sisterhood, and empowerment. Third, participation in these clinics is rewarding as it meets a need the ladies have. Finally, the clinics make golf appealing to the participants. This research demonstrates examples of sense of community amongst Black females in a non-traditional sport setting, as well as examines how race, gender, and social class interact to shape these experiences. The practical implications include the importance of creating non-intimidating environments, the impact of a relatable instructor, and emphasizing a lack of competition for underrepresented minority female groups in sport.
Rosselli, Anthony C (2014). This Is “Ladies’ Night”: A Case Study of a Grassroots Golf Program for Black Females. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from