Explaining the Golf Term 'Ladies Playday'

The term "ladies playday" refers to a tournament day for a golf course's women's golf association or other group of women golfers. When a women's golf association has a regular game — say, a 9-hole twilight tournament every other Tuesday — that is called a "ladies playday."

That brings up two questions: Why "ladies" and not "women's"? And why is the term ladies playday part of the golf vernacular when golfers do not use a term such as men's playday?

"Ladies playday" (often spelled "ladies' playday") dates back many decades to a much earlier era when many golf courses limited the times that women were allowed to play. Most of the good tee times were reserved for men at such courses; women who wanted to play golf had to wait for designated days and parts of those days. Such a course, for example, might decree that women could play on Tuesday afternoons and reserve those tee times for any women who wanted to claim them.

Such playing opportunities were called "ladies playdays" because those were the days on which women could get a tee time.

Shockingly, such arrangements still exist at a handful of golf courses (and there still even some troglodyte private courses that do not allow women members). But public golf courses and nearly all other types of golf courses no longer discriminate in doling out tee times to women.

Many golf courses do still have men's and women's golf associations, though, golfing clubs that hold tournaments on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.

And so the term "ladies playday" has morphed into a vernacular way of referring to such tournaments. If the Anytown Golf Course Women's Golf Association is holding its monthly tournament on Wednesday, it's still common to hear it referred to as a "ladies playday."

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