‘The Men’s Game Has Gone Absolutely Ridiculous’ - Mel Reid On Challenge Of Gender Pay Equity

The 35-year-old doubts whether pay parity with the men's game will ever happen despite the growth of the women's game

Mel Reid during the first round of the AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath
Mel Reid admits the women's game will find it difficult to achieve pay equity with the men's game
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mel Reid is unsure whether the women's game will ever achieve pay equity with the men's game due to the huge influx of money that has gone into the latter. 

The 35-year-old spoke after an even-par first round in the 2023 Women's Open, the day after it was announced that not only would it have a record $9m purse in 2023, but AIG would continue to sponsor the tournament until 2030 and target “gender pay equity.”

However, Reid thinks that target is some way off considering the huge amount of money in the men's game. She said: “I think we've got still a way to go but it's cool that sponsors are giving us the respect that we deserve and putting their money where their mouth is I guess.

“The men's game has gone absolutely ridiculous. Catching up with them is going to be a heavy feat. I don't know if it will ever happen, but when I first played the British Open to now, it's astronomically different. It's obviously great now for the girls to be able to come out and make a decent living.”

Reid had the honour of hitting the opening shot of the 2023 AIG Women’s Open as part of the first group to tee it up at Walton Heath and she admitted that getting the final Major of the year underway had been a special moment.

She said: “Hitting the opening in the Women's British Open is special. It's a nice accolade - is that the right word? Look at me go. Honestly it was really cool. That was really cool for me.

“It was nice, my mates got up, a couple of my family members drove down, getting up in the middle of the night is tough, especially when you're getting on a bit like me and I have to warm the body up more than used to. Nice to get done early.”

Mel Reid takes the opening shot of the 2023 AIG Women's Open

Mel Reid described hitting the opening tee shot at the AIG Women's Open as "special"

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reid has emerged from a difficult period where a serious wrist injury threatened to end her career. During June’s KMPG Women’s PGA Championship Reid revealed: “I legit quit” and said she had planned to go into media work before teaming up with her old coach, Jorge Parada, which revived her career.

After an encouraging performance at Baltusrol, where she finished T24 despite incurring a penalty stroke in the third round, Reid admitted her hard work is paying off. She said: “Not finished yet. Still feel like I've got a lot of golf left in me.

“Yeah, I feel like my personal life is in the best place it's been and feel like I'm getting my game back on track. It was rough last year, and nice that the hard work is starting to pay off and this game is - you have to earn everything. It's not ever given to you, so it's nice to be playing well again."

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.