Trans golfer Hailey Davidson will undergo testosterone testing after death threats

Hailey Davidson
Hailey Davidson Photo: Screenshot

Following backlash to her win earlier this month at the NXXT Women’s Classic in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, trans golfer Hailey Davidson will undergo testosterone testing to ensure compliance with the NXXT Women’s Pro Tour’s gender policies.

Davidson told Golfweek that she received five to 10 death threats on social media in the days after taking the top prize at the January 17 event, before deleting her X (formerly Twitter) account.

On Monday, NXXT Golf CEO Stuart McKinnon released a statement addressing the controversy. “The recent discussions surrounding Hailey Davidson’s participation and success on our tour have highlighted a range of viewpoints,” McKinnon wrote, noting that the NXXT Women’s Pro Tour’s policies and decisions are guided by the frameworks set by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and United States Golf Association (USGA).

“Recognizing the spectrum of views on this issue, we wish to highlight that our decisions are guided by what is best for our players, setting aside personal beliefs,” McKinnon continued. “Part of our commitment is ensuring an environment that is inclusive and safe for all members.”

McKinnon said that NXXT Golf has begun polling players on its tour to gauge their opinions on its gender policy. “We believe it is vital to consider the perspectives of those directly affected by these policies,” he wrote. “Furthermore, in maintaining the integrity of our standards, we have requested Hailey Davidson to undergo additional testosterone testing to ensure compliance with the appropriate guidelines.”

Davidson told Golfweek that she has no problem with the poll. “At this point, we’re trying anything to see if we can cool the fire down a little,” she said, noting that anti-trans backlash generally comes from “people who aren’t playing.”

“It comes with the territory, I suppose,” she said of threats on social media. “Someone who is at home really frustrated with themselves trying to take it out on me. If I don’t laugh, I’m going to be miserable.”

Davidson, who began hormone therapy in September 2015 and underwent gender-affirming surgery in January 2021—a requirement under the LPGA’s gender policy—said she has already taken an additional testosterone test and is not worried about meeting NXXT’s guidelines, as she already qualifies under the LPGA and USGA’s gender policies, as McKinnon noted in his statement.

In an interview with Sky News, Davidson indicated that she accepts that policies dictating trans athletes’ participation in sports are necessary. “Trans athletes shouldn’t be banned, but at the same time, there needs to be regulations in place because it shouldn’t just be a free-for-all,” she said. “I think with so many topics, we as a society just need to sit down and listen to each other rather than scream at each other and put hatred on it. I think we forget that people are actually humans at the same time.”

She also described the controversy around her NXXT win as “selective hatred.”

“No one really cares when I’m not playing well, but as soon as you play well, the whole world ends and it’s ‘I’m destroying women’s golf now,’” she said.

She echoed that sentiment in a recent Instagram post, in which she also vowed to continue working toward her goal of qualifying for the LPGA Tour.

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