I think Carolyn got a bum rap by being a woman in a man’s world, Golf, even though you think it’s a really big community, it’s a small community. She went in there saying this is the way it’s going to be, instead of a softer approach. I think she never got the respect back, and that really hurt, but you know what? She’s done a lot of great things for our tour, and she has given us a lot of confidence in what we have out here, and we are not going back. We are going to keep moving forward, and we hope these tournaments will move forward with us. If they don’t, we will move on.
Regardless of your opinion on Bivens, she has laid a solid foundation in many respects. Give her credit for her “Vision 2010” and sticking to her guns, albeit that was her undoing as SI’s Alan Shipnuck noted. As the first female commissioner in golf, she has paved a path. It isn’t easy being the pioneer – she was a woman in an industry dominated by white men. No doubt she will leave a legacy, one that is both positive and negative. But that’s the baggage that’s attached to any leadership position, whether it’s being the president of the local PTA or the POTUS.
In a few years, we’ll look back at her term and reassess her decisions. I have a feeling that it’ll be seen in a much more positive light than it is at the moment. Bivens saw the potential in women’s golf and felt the LPGA players deserved the very best – to be on a level playing field with the PGA Tour; to compete for similar purse sizes; to receive better health and retirement benefits. It was never going to happen overnight, especially in this economy. But she’s set the standard and I believe this vision will in fact be carried out in some form or another…eventually.
Women’s athletics will never be considered equal to men’s. That’s just the fact of the matter. Bivens wanted to close this gap (as much as possible) and there’s something to be said about that.
I couldn’t agree more with Inkster’s message on “moving forward.”