This story comes straight from the “Juwanna Mann” file (we can’t believe we’re citing the Wayans brothers in a joke, either), but unlike the farcical athletic adventures of cinematic men in drag, this tale isn’t tall at all. Well, it is tall, but it’s literally tall, not figuratively. Oh, you get the picture. According to James Achenbach of GOLFWEEK, via FOXSPORTS, the winner of the 2008 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship Ladies division is a 55-year old bartender who used to be a man.
(Your 2008 Women’s Long Dri … wait! That can’t be a woman!)
That’s right, Palm Springs, CA, native Lana Lawless (no relation to Lucy … allegedly. Lawless claims to have taken the name from movie star Lana Turner) won the contest by upsetting a 21-year-old New Zealand native largely accepted as the event’s prohibitive favorite, Phillis Meti. She did it by smashing a ball 254 yards into a stiff headwind on a course in Mesquite, NV, and then promptly admitting that her physique was, well, not entirely a “God original”.
“This is who I am. This is my life,” Lawless said firmly. “That other person, that 245-pound SWAT cop I used to be, he’s gone. He’s not coming back.”
Yup, you read that right. Not only was Lawless a man, she also used to be a SWAT officer.
Now, of course, she’s neither. Still, the sex-change has left Lawless with a physique equally parts man & woman, with her upper body strength still maintained from her SWAT days. That’s a significant advantage, but the women Lawless beat out for the 2008 title don’t have much legal recourse against her - the USGA had already sanctioned transgender competition:
“In 2005, the USGA approved transgender involvement in competition, so I don’t see how we can dispute this,” said former women’s long drive world champion Lee Brandon. “However, if a woman has the knees, hands and feet of a man, she has genetic real estate that is more gifted.”
his her part, Lawless is open and honest to a fault:
“I am a woman. I’ve lost muscle mass. I don’t have big guns (biceps). They give you a drug that stops you from producing testosterone. Your muscles atrophy. In about seven months, I went from 245 pounds to 175 pounds. I’ve gained back a little bit, but I feel like I don’t have any power. … Sure, I used to be a man. For 18 years, I was a cop for the city of Rialto, one of the most violent cities in Southern California. I worked the gang unit. I had a very tough and mean exterior. People didn’t want to mess with me.”
As for future competition, Lawless isn’t ruling it out. For now she’s enjoying an oddly-won world title and its notoriety, all while drawing out this doozy of a line toward the end of Achenbach’s piece: “… she owns a world championship, and nobody can wrestle that away.”
You’re darn right no one can wrestle that away. Look at her! You want to wrestle a former Rialto cop? Didn’t think so.