FARMINGTON HILLS – Sara Wold said many of the talented women who will be playing in the 106th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship, June 13-17, are not fully aware of the impact of Title IX legislation from 50 years ago.
“So much has changed since the 1970s because of Title IX and it has meant so much for women’s sports, but also education and so many other things,” said Wold, president emerita of the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) and a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.
“A lot of them also have little knowledge about what we went through in the 1950s and 60s just to play sports, and we want them to know about it and appreciate what they have now. Also, we want them to realize women have to stay vigilant about improving things – like this year when the Women’s NCAA Tournament was improved because it was brought up.”
The Title IX 50th Anniversary Celebration is being presented on Monday, June 13, by the GAM Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee at Great Oaks Country Club in Rochester Hills. The event will celebrate the impact of Title IX on women’s sports with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as a featured speaker.
Great Oaks is hosting the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship starting that Monday and continuing through Friday of that week. The cost for the 5 p.m. program is $45 per person, though the women playing in the championship have been invited by the GAM to attend free of charge.
“We think it’s important that they know about Title IX, hear about Title IX and talk about Title IX,” said Wold who has been an at-large member of the Title IX Michigan Task Force chaired by Benson and created by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2019.
“We’re bringing them in for free to hear the message.”
Players registering for the tournament have been invited via a letter from Judy Lazzaro, vice-president of the GAM and a part of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
The celebration will follow the first day of play in the championship and include a strolling dinner. In addition to Benson speaking, University of Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins is also expected to share her experiences with Title IX. Debbie Williams-Hoak, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member and former LPGA player from Ann Arbor, will also make a presentation.
Since its passage in 1972, Title IX has significantly increased athletic opportunities for women and girls. The primary benefit has been the requirement for schools to provide equal access for opportunities eligible for federal funding. Before Title IX passed in 1971, only one percent of college athletic budgets went to women’s sports programs. At the high school level, male athletes outnumbered female athletes 12.5 to one.
Title IX states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
“The Michigan Women’s Amateur has a long history, it’s a great championship and it is really a perfect place to point out the importance of Title IX and its history,” Wold said.
Limited tickets are still available, email Mary-Jo Green at [email protected] for more information.