By Ben Kearney
Royal Troon’s Hazel Macgarvie has admitted that the uncertainty over Brexit is only putting more pressure on golf in Scotland. The 19-year-old, who is currently ranked top of the women’s order of merit is surprised by the lack of information about the possible impact leaving the European Union could have.
She admitted, “It’s something that I have genuinely never thought about before until now, it could affect so many areas in the sport.”
“The most prestigious tournaments I play in, at the moment, are all over Europe. Without these, I would struggle to break even. For women in the sport especially we need to do well every single week in order to make a living.”
Hazel recently played in the US, through a partnership deal between Scottish Golf and ProDreamUSA which she believes is the way forward.
“Playing over there is the only way for females to go professional, which is the ultimate goal. Funding and prize money over there is on a different level.”
British tournaments could face a decrease in prize money due to the value of the pound dropping overtime which is another issue for players to face. However, Hazel is adamant there could be some positives in the end.
At Royal Troon, it is currently £250 for visitors to play the Old Course and this is not including extra additions that are required.
Hazel conceded that this is keeping people away from playing the sport, she described it as ‘a middle-class’ environment.
“I feel like the sport is pushing away anyone who isn’t middle class. If Brexit brought anything positive, it could be that more tourists will come here to play. If this brings down prices then that would be great.
“Scotland has some of the best courses in the world so I am sure we could take advantage.”
Golf in Scotland is already facing issues with its identity and place in Scottish sport. Whether good or bad, the effects of Brexit will only add to that uncertainty.