Performance, Discovery, and Relational Narratives among Women Professional Tournament Golfers

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Kitrina Douglas University of Bristol

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David Carless Leeds Metropolitan University

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The dominant narrative within the literature on elite sport is characterised by a total focus on performance. Scholars in other areas have noted how although alternatives to the dominant narrative exist they are often silenced and fail to reach the public domain. Drawing on interviews with seven women professional tournament golfers, we explored the narratives women use to make sense of their experiences in elite sport. We present three narratives which illustrate the existence of alternatives to the dominant performance narrative among Europe’s most outstanding women golfers. Two alternatives are identified: a discovery narrative and a relational narrative. These findings suggest that diverse routes to success are possible in women’s professional sport. We discuss the educational and social implications of the alternative narratives in an effort to encourage discussion and debate among athletes, administrators, coaches, sports psychologists, and educators.

Kitrina Douglas University of Bristol Department of Exercise and Health Sciences Tyndall Avenue Bristol BS8 1TP, UK Email: k.douglas@bristol.ac.uk Phone: +44 7774 816401

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