Long Drivers responds to Lawless lawsuit

Long Drivers of America, the organization that owns and conducts the World Long Drive Championship, finally has responded to Lana Lawless and her discrimination lawsuit.

• On Oct. 12, Lawless filed suit against the LDA, as well as the LPGA. Lawless, a transgender woman and the 2008 world champion in the LDA’s female division, wants to compete in LDA events (beginning in 2009, the LDA abolished all women’s competition) and in LPGA tournaments.

• On Dec. 1, the LPGA officially changed its female-at-birth policy to allow transgender women such as Lawless to compete. However, the 57-year-old Lawless still has to gain entry into any tournament under existing qualification standards.

• On Dec. 21, Golfweek obtained a copy of a three-sentence LDA press release, which stated that the LDA would follow the new LPGA policy in any future long-drive events involving women. However, the LDA reiterated that it has no plans to schedule or conduct any competition for women in the near future.

The LDA maintains there is insufficient interest among female competitors and potential sponsors.

Here is the LDA statement, released by LDA attorney Thomas L. Kemp of Elkton, MD.:

“Long Drivers of America has no plans to conduct any women’s long drive events in the future and has not conducted an event for women since the 2008 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. Should sponsorship interest change and participation increase in women’s long drive and the LDA does conduct a women’s event in the future, it will follow the LPGA’s rule change and permit participation of transgendered women. Women of any age may compete in the open division and women who meet the age requirements may compete in the various senior men’s events.”

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