Transgender Golfer Hailey Davidson Issues Emotional Response After Being Banned By Women's Pro Tour

Hailey Davidson condemned the decision by NXXT Golf which now requires all eligible golfers to be female at birth

Hailey Davidson lifting a trophy
(Image credit: Instagram: @haileydgolf)

Transgender golfer Hailey Davidson has issued an emotional response after she was banned by professional women's golf Tour, NXXT Golf, following a change to their gender policy.

Davidson won her first all-women's event in January at the NXXT Women’s Classic in Florida. Her victory, though, sparked fierce debate and prompted the mini-Tour to survey members on its gender policy and ask Davidson to "undergo additional testosterone testing".

NXXT Golf, which offers exemptions onto the Epson Tour - the LPGA Tour's official feeder Tour - has now updated its gender guidance to require all competitors to be female at birth, a move which it says will "maintain the integrity of women's professional golf and ensure fair competition".

"As we navigate through the evolving landscape of sports, it is crucial to uphold the competitive integrity that is the cornerstone of women’s sports. Our revised policy is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to celebrating and protecting the achievements and opportunities of female athletes," 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."

Davidson, who made it through Stage One of the LPGA Q-School last year, has since issued a response, labelling her ban as a "slap in the face to all female athletes".

“Effective immediately, I have been removed (banned) from the next 3 NXXT tournaments that I had already signed up for and been approved to play,” the 30-year-old wrote on Instagram.

"Do people not understand how good LPGA players are and how far they hit it? As a player, if you are upset at me getting to play with my distance (245 yards) then you will never make it to the LPGA Tour where they are that much better and longer than me."

Davidson's driving distance of 245 yards would see her ranked outside the top 100 of longest hitters in the LPGA Tour based on 2024 averages. 

"You can scream at me, threaten me, throw insults at me and even ban me but I will always get back up and keep fighting till the very end. Hate and bigotry will never win," she continued.

"What really bugs me is that people think I win just by showing up. This is such a slap in the face to all female athletes being told that any male can transition and beat them regardless of the life of hard work those women put in. You think you’re attacking me, but you’re actually attacking and putting down all other female athletes.”

NXXT Golf is not the only Tour to recently make a change to its gender policy, with the Arizona-based Cactus Tour announcing in February that it had reinstated a female-at-birth requirement.

The LPGA Tour's gender policy currently still allows players who have undergone gender reassignment after puberty to compete should they earn a Tour card. A transgender golfer is still yet to qualify for a start on either the LPGA or Epson Tour.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.