Transgender golfer Bobbi Lancaster is aiming to compete on the LPGA Tour. But in an article this weekend in the Arizona Republic, the 62-year-old former collegiate golfer says she should not be allowed to compete against women her own age. She said in a video interview with the Republic:
In my own humble opinion, I think it's very fair that I'm playing against the caliber of players I'm trying to play against, because I have no advantage there. but for me to be allowed to play against women my age, I have a huge advantage. It's not fair. And that's why I'm probably not playing against them, because I just feel like I have undue advantage with my length. and I was a male, exposed to testosterone most of my life. I've got longer arms, bigger build. I've got leverage they don't have. It's not fair.
The age issue is an interesting element to the trans-athlete discussion. All of the debate around trans athletes has focused on people from the tween years to mid-40s. But what are the repercussions of someone who transitions in her late 50s or early 60s? Who does not experience menopause? Is the issue different?
The answer may lie in some of the facts surrounding Bobbi herself. Despite her concerns about competing against her peers, the Republic says her club speed has dropped from 109mph to 96mph since transitioning. She also isn't exactly dominating the field, failing to win a qualifying tournament for the USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship.
Lancaster says she's out-driving women by 100 yards, but golf is much more than just strength and driving distance. Most professional golfers take the majority of their swings within 50 yards of the hole. So even if Lancaster has an advantage in driving distance, that doesn't mean she has an overall golf advantage. Every golfer has her strengths and weaknesses. If driving distance is Lancaster's strength, then so be it.