Latest From GolfDigest.com
Latest From The Loop
Twitter
Feedblitz
To Get GeoffShackelford.com Posts Delivered To Your Inbox Enter Email Address Below:


Powered by FeedBlitz
Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos
« Jerry Kelly And Charles Howell Dueled For Top 25 All-Time Money Status! | Main | Flashback By Unpopular Demand: Charlie Beljan's Brief Life On Twitter »
Sunday
Nov112012

UK Sports Minister Says Open Championship Should Only Be Played At Non-Discriminatory Clubs

Golf365 quotes a Sunday Times story (not available online) in which UK Sports minister Hugh Robertson thinks clubs like 2013 Open Championship host Muirfield The Honourable Company Of Edinburgh Golfers should not be part of the rota because "it is increasingly anachronistic not to allow women to be members."

"The defence of the Royal and Ancient is that it is a private club and so has the right to do what it wants.

"That is legally correct and I have no quarrel when it is acting as a private club. However, I believe that when a private club fulfils a public function, such as staging a major event, then there is a different slant."

And there was an interesting delineation from Muirfield secretary Alastair Brown, which I puts the ball back in the R&A's court:

"It's not our decision where the Open is. It's the decision of the R&A - it's their competition and they ask us.

"Augusta is a totally different situation. They own their event."

Translation: back at you R&A!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (17)

If it keeps the R&A from destroying the course every time they go there, I hope Muirfield keeps its exclusionary member policy. If you can't break up with someone, get them to break up with you...
11.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric
If it is the "Royal" and Ancient couldn't the Queen tell them to have women members? Just a thought... not a British history expert. :)
11.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveAndrews
UK is always 20 years behind the USA.
11.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
dont like the membership policy? start your own golf tournament Mr. UK Sports Minister. Offer a bunch of the taxpayers money and maybe some pros will show up.
11.11.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Funny how it's only the male-only clubs that get a hard time and not the women's only clubs. At least this story (below) tackles the issue...

http://www.bunkered.co.uk/index.php?cID=1709
11.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
So then Brian, how would you feel about females sharing Saturday/Sunday mornings for your club competitions?
All for it!
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
If folks have an issue with women teeing it up Saturday morning they should join a men only club. I don't understand why the concept of a men/women only club would be offensive in a society which cherishes freedom of choice. However, in terms of clubs allowing both genders as members, to determine a class of membership based on gender is an anachronism. Class of membership should be based on choice/merit rather than on the genitalia one is born with.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEl Gringo
@ Brian ... and does this happen at your club?
How many women-only clubs host the oldest and best major championship in golf?

+1 to Alastair Brown. I predict the Open will be moving, soon.

Note: I said championship, not toonamint.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Do your readers realize that there are a number of all female golf clubs in St. Andrews. In fact one of them has its clubhouse about 100 yards from the R & A building thats right next to the 18th hole of the Old Course.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve A
For the billionth time: the issue isn't a single gender club, it's a single gender club hosting a major championship or being in charge of the rules of golf.

So all of the there are women cubs too stuff is just noise. Unless these women's clubs are hosting lpga events, it's not a comparison.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
The Royal and Ancient golf club is different from the R & A which governs the rules of golf and the Open Championship. They were separated in 2004 which has allowed women to take an active part. The all male golf club (Royal and Ancient) has nothing to do with the Open Championship.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve A
@Steve A: Very true. However, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers is a "Boys-Only, No-Gurls-Allowed" golf club, and it is hosting the Open Championship on its privately owned course for the 16th time in 2013. Probably.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Ky-it will hold the Open next year.We are some way off being that politically correct in our governance of the game over here.I would expect it to hold more too-it is a very good course which is the only thing the R and A bothers about.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
@ Steve A ... think you will find that historically, these non course-owning women's clubs were set up because the men wouldn't allow them into theirs! You will also tend to find the vast majority resided in towns/cities which owned and ran the public links courses. Members of male and female clubs would/do purchase season tickets from local authorities/trusts (at least they do in Scotland) in order to play the courses.

The fact is, there are barely a handful of course-owned/leased women only golf clubs in the UK. Someone mentioned Lundin Ladies'. A great wee course but only 9 holes and leased. The ladies used to have ground adjacent to the men's only Lundin Golf Club (what became their practice ground) but were persuaded to move elsewhere. Don't know the reason for this but I would imagine the lure of more land being offered to them by the then local landowner probably proved too much of a temptation.

Difficult not to be cynical about the sudden interest of british politicians in this subject. Methinks they're content to make the right noises but have no intention of acting upon these new found principles. They were, after all, invited on several previous occasions to legislate on this very issue but on each occasion, proposed legislation didn't even make if past the first hurdle. Indeed, some of the stuff quoted in Hansard is pretty insulting to females.

In any event, it's too late because the EU stepped in and legislated ... badly!
"For the billionth time: the issue isn't a single gender club, it's a single gender club hosting a major championship..."

Why does it matter if a major championship host such as Muirfield or Sandwich is single gender? Its not as if the men and women compete together in majors.
11.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEl Gringo

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.