An American trans woman is suing the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) because it only allows women who were “female at birth” to participate.

Lana Lawless, 57 and of Palm Springs, California, completed her transition from male to female in 2005.

She won the Women’s Long Drive Association in 2008 but was barred from the contest this year because it changed its rules to match the LPGA’s.

Her lawsuit demands that the LPGA suspends events in California until the “female at birth” policy is changed.

It also mentions the Long Drivers of America, which runs the Women’s Long Drive Association contest and two of the Long Drivers of America’s sponsors.

She argues that the policies violate California’s equality laws.

Ms Lawless, a former police officer, said: “I just want to have the same opportunity to play professional golf as any other woman.

“I am, in all respects, legally, and physically female. The State of California recognises me as such and the LPGA should not be permitted to come into California and blatantly violate my rights.”

Her lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said in a statement. “California’s civil rights laws prevent discrimination against all minorities, including transgender persons.”