'Shall We Sort This Game Out' - Charley Hull Issues Challenge To Online Critic

The World No.8 was open to the idea of setting up a match with an internet user, following claims he would 'make every cut on the LPGA Tour'

Charley Hull walks off the green whilst holding a putter
(Image credit: Getty Images)

World No.8 Charley Hull has responded to a male critic of the women’s game on social media by offering to feature in golf’s version of ‘The Battle Of The Sexes.’

A bullish three-handicapper on X (formerly known as Twitter) declared - in response to a post about driving distance from golf statistician Lou Stagner - that he would “make every cut on the LPGA [Tour]” and “be a top-20 player.”

Stagner noted that anyone who can drive the ball 277 yards would be ahead of 98 percent of male amateurs, but second last on the PGA Tour.

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But despite no reference to the women's game in the original post, one amateur hopeful's direct message took aim at the LPGA Tour.

In the fan's note to Stagner, he said: “What do you think of this tweet? This is ridiculous. I am a 3 handicapper that plays from 6900 yards and I hit my driver 290. I would make every cut on the LPGA and be a top20 playr.”

Stagner did not reveal the identity of the messenger, but did post his full claim with the caption: “I love some of the direct messages I get. This guy would finish DFL in every single event.”

A few hours later, Hull - who has finished second in four of her past seven events - quoted the post and said: “Shall we sort this game out. I’ll let him play off the red tees whilst I’ll play off the whites.”

Charley Hull with the 2022 The Ascendant LPGA trophy

Hull has six professional wins to her name, as well as multiple appearances in the Solheim Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The overwhelming majority of fans were hugely in favour of witnessing a televised match between the pair, with several high-profile accounts stating they were willing to play their part in making it happen.

If a head-to-head clash was to materialize, it would follow tennis’ ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ format in the 1970s - born from three-time Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs’ declaration that he could beat any female tennis player - despite the American being 55 at the time and retired for over 20 years - as the women’s game was inferior.

But after gliding past grand slam champion Margaret Court, Riggs failed to back up his claim against another tennis behemoth, Billie Jean King, losing in three straight sets to the 29-year-old and being forced to chow down on some humble pie. King felt her victory did plenty for women’s sport as a whole, although there were still many detractors who refused to give female athletes due credit.

Tennis player Billie Jean King competes against retired pro Bobby Riggs (1918 - 1995) in the 'Battle of the Sexes' match at the Houston Astrodome in Texas on September 20th, 1973. King won in three straight sets.

King competes against Riggs in the 'Battle of the Sexes' match 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Over-inflated claims from keyboard warriors are nothing new, but evidence from the 2022 Tournament of Champions, for example, suggests those brave souls would be wise to keep their proclamations to themselves.

Current World No.33, Danielle Kang, claimed the title in Orlando on 16 under par that year - three shots ahead of American compatriot, Nelly Korda. The best celebrity on show, retired pitcher Derek Lowe, managed seven over with his index of 0.2 - 23 shots back from Kang.

Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott pointed out that all players started from the same tees, the groups remained the same, and everyone was playing the same format. Former tennis star Mardy Fish - who holds a handicap of +2.8 - was the only celebrity to post an under-par round all week.

And while the physiological scoring abilities are one key aspect that sets even an average Tour player apart from the best amateurs, those at the top have an air-tight lock on their psychological demons too.

When amateurs rock up on a Sunday with their friends, a few notes may be exchanged, but the sums of money will pale in comparison to what professionals are competing for. If a match is organised between Hull and the unnamed amateur, it will be worth keeping an eye on which part of the male’s game crumbles first…

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff Writer, joining Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and has since spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. The self-proclaimed ‘worst golfer in the office’ still enjoys playing from time to time and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.