Hailey Davidson, holding the trophy for her tour win in January, is barred for competition due to the NXXT policy change. | Hailey Davidson

The NXXT Women’s Pro Golf Tour announced Friday that play will be restricted to cisgender women golfers effective immediately.

The announcement is the latest in a number of such policy changes for sports governing bodies over the last year. This move is one of the few that has occurred during an active competition season with the NXXT Winter Tour entering its final three tournaments.

“Our revised policy is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to celebrating and protecting the achievements and opportunities of female athletes,” NXXT Tour CEO Stuart McKinnon said in a  statement. “Protected categories are a fundamental aspect of sports at all levels, and it is essential for our Tour to uphold these categories for biological females, ensuring a level playing field.”

The policy change directly affects the tour’s lone trans woman, Hailey Davidson. She was second in the tour Player of the Year standings with one tournament win and eight top finishes and was set to enter the upcoming tournament at Eustis, Fla., starting Monday.

She has been a focus point of attention regarding transgender participation in golf in the last three years. In 2021, Davidson became the first transgender women to win a professional tournament.  She participated in LPGA Tour Qualifying School in both 2021 and 2022 as she pushed toward her goal of becoming the first transgender woman to earn a place on the LPGA Tour.

The week for the process toward this change was first announced in January, Davidson  put together an impressive comeback to force a playoff where she earned her first tour win of the season.

“When I won the first time, people lost their minds and then it went away for about a year,” she said in an interview with UK-based Sky News. “Again, it happened about a year later so this is about the third or fourth time something like this has happened. No one really cares when I’m not playing well, but as soon as you play well, the whole world ends and it’s ‘I’m destroying women’s golf now’… It’s a selective hatred, I would say.”

McKinnon stated policy revision came as “the result of comprehensive research, thoughtful deliberation, and extensive consultations with a broad  spectrum of stakeholders in the sports community.”

The NXXT Tour action also follows a policy change from similar mini-tour February. The Cactus Tour announced policy changes a few weeks after NXXT announced its policy review. Some observers said the growing attention surround Davidson’s tour win was a catalyst for the move.