NXXT Women's Pro Tour bans transgender golfers, including Hailey Davidson
CMC Developmental Tours

NXXT Women’s Pro Tour bans transgender golfers, including Hailey Davidson

A photo of golfer Hailey Davidson

Hailey Davidson has been banned from the NXXT Women's Pro Tour after the Florida-based developmental tour announced a policy change banning transgender golfers.

The tour announced changes to their eligibility policy on Friday, which is also International Women's Day, in what the tour calls an effort to "protect competitive integrity."

In announcing the change, the tour said, "Effective immediately, competitors must be a biological female at birth to participate. This decision underscores the organization’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of women's professional golf and ensuring fair competition."

The decision bans transgender players, including Davidson, who won an NXXT Women's Pro Tour in Florida in January for her third-career win on the circuit. Her win ignited another round of criticism for the developmental tour for allowing Davidson to compete, although she met all of the Tour's requirements to compete, including regular hormonal testing. Several media outlets reporting on Davidson's win erroneously (and perhaps intentionally so) reported that she was close to achieving LPGA Tour status, though that was nowhere near true.

The NXXT Tour began a partnership this season with the Epson Tour, the LPGA Tour's developmental circuit, granting exemptions into two future Epson Tour events to each of the top five earners on the 2024 NXXT points list. Davidson is second on the points list but will no longer accrue points. For any player earning the NXXT points-list exemption, the NXXT Tour must have a minimum of 10 events with an average of 40 players. However, average NXXT Women's Pro Tour fields are not at that size.

The policy change was devised after the tour poled its players anonymously regarding the prior policy that allowed transgender players to compete on the tour after the met a variety of requirements.

“As we navigate through the evolving landscape of sports, it is crucial to uphold the competitive integrity that is the cornerstone of women’s sports," said NXXT GOLF CEO Stuart McKinnon. "Our revised policy is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to celebrating and protecting the achievements and opportunities of female athletes. Protected categories are a fundamental aspect of sports at all levels, and it is essential for our Tour to uphold these categories for biological females, ensuring a level playing field.”

The decision follows a similar announcement from the Cactus Tour, an Arizona-based competitor to NXXT, to reinstitute their "female-at-birth" eligibility requirement.

Davidson played college golf as a male at Wilmington University in Delaware and then transferred to the men’s team at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. In September 2015, Davidson began undergoing hormone treatments in preparation for a gender transition. In January 2021, she underwent gender reassignment surgery, which is required under the LPGA’s Gender Policy.

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