MIANNE BAGGER was born in Copenhagen in 1966 as a man. He spent five years living in England before settling in Australia, where he had prolonged hormone treatment before undergoing a sex-change operation in 1995. He became a she. She moved back to Denmark last year and began to pursue her dream of becoming a professional golfer. Initially she was restricted to playing the odd minor event in Scandinavia, and then a relaxation of the rules on transsexuals by the International Olympic Committee prompted a rule change by the Ladies European Tour, no longer requiring competitors to be female at birth. Bagger finished 10th at the four-day qualifying school in Taranto, Italy and will now become the first transsexual woman to play on the European Tour, competing against the likes of Annika Sorenstam, Laura Davies and Michelle Wie on level terms.
Fair enough, I say. Golf is a game largely dependent on skill and timing, 14-year-old prodigy, Michelle Wie is reportedly hitting the ball as far as any man. But does the IOC’s decision not carry with it the danger of hordes of men turning into women and re-writing the record books in other sports? It is an inescapable fact that the male of the human species is physically stronger and faster – compare times and achievements in any discipline. I think I will join the women’s tennis circuit and gorge myself on the hyper-inflated prize money on offer nowadays!