chapter  5
“The dark side” and beyond
Narrative inquiry in professional golf
WithKitrina Douglas, David Carless
Pages 14

For more than a decade the author has been conducting research into the life experiences of professional women golfers. The work began as Kitrina's doctoral research, initially focusing on motivation and persistence in women on the European golf tour. From early on the author have been aware that the stories they represent often tend towards what some describe as the dark side of sport. This is evident through a number of participants recounting troubling experiences, such as depression, sexual abuse, emotional isolation, and self-harm. The chapter considers why this might be and how this situation could have developed. To do so, it turns to narrative research with professional women golfers. The kind of critical narrative methodology athlets have utilized here could usefully be employed in future research to expand, interrogate, and develop the practical and theoretical interpretations. It illuminates the relationship between life as lived and life as storied, to reveal how sport culture silences some stories and promotes others.