Trans-identifying golfer Hailey Davidson, a biological man, told “Good Morning Britain” on Monday that men have advantages over women in sports, but because he had gender surgery, he no longer has that physical advantage over his female competitors.
Last week, Davidson won in the NXXT Women’s Classic in Florida, boosting himself into first place in the league and inching closer to a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) qualifying tour. Davidson, who previously played on a men’s collegiate golf team, joined the British talk show to discuss his victory and the ensuing backlash, and the golfer made a few admissions about the controversy of trans-identifying athletes competing in women’s sports.
“My whole philosophy behind all of this is I don’t believe trans people should be banned from sports, but I do believe there needs to be guidelines in effect,” Davidson said, according to Fox News. “Going back even four years ago or even before I had surgery, I definitely had an advantage. I would 100% agree with that.”
“But the difference is now that years have gone on, three years after surgery, my physical capabilities now compared to back then are night and day. So again, honestly, I 100% agree that men do have advantages. Say you get a trans person on hormones for a year or no surgery nothing… of course, for the most part, yeah they’re gonna have an advantage.”
Transgender golfer, Hailey Davidson, says she fears for her safety after winning a place on a US tour designed to provide 'growth opportunities' for female players.
She has been accused of having an unfair advantage because she can hit a ball further than a female born player. pic.twitter.com/iN1JGwOuD4
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 22, 2024
Davidson was three shots behind the leader going into the last two holes of the NXXT Women’s Classic last week, but he forced a playoff, which the trans-identifying golfer ultimately won after two extra holes.
The tournament win puts Davidson at the top of the season’s leaderboard. The top five players at the end of the season get exemptions to participate in the Epson Tour, which is the official developmental tour of the LPGA Tour. Davidson also took home a $1,576.51 award for the NXXT Women’s Classic win, putting his total winnings for the season at $4,206.84. He also leads the NXXT Women’s Tour in total Eagles with three and total Birdies with 50.
Following the backlash to Davidson’s tournament victory, NXXT Golf CEO Stuart McKinnon said his organization is “dedicated to transparency and thoroughness in addressing this matter” and asked Davidson to “undergo additional testosterone testing to ensure compliance with the appropriate guidelines.” He added that NXXT Golf will poll its players on transgender policies.
In his “Good Morning Britain” interview, Davidson criticized those upset with his success in women’s golf, saying he didn’t understand the outrage.
“I don’t get what the fear of me, one person, is doing,” Davidson added.
Davidson reportedly had gender surgery in 2021 after undergoing hormone treatments since 2015. LPGA players voted in 2010 to remove the tour’s requirement that golfers be “female at birth” to join. The vote came two months after a trans-identifying person sued, arguing that the rule violated California civil rights law, The New York Times reported.
The LPGA’s “Gender Policy” says people “who have undergone gender reassignment from male to female after puberty are eligible for membership and/or participation in tournaments.”