Saturday 3 December 2016

Banning women from golf is archaic, but it's always been prejudice

Published 23/05/2016 | 02:30

Golf commentator Peter Alliss Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
Golf commentator Peter Alliss Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

Golfers often seem nice people - the Padraig Harringtons, Christy O'Connors, Rory McIlroys - so it would appear mean-spirited to disparage the sport. But I laughed when I heard someone describe the game as "a good walk ruined".

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Yet golf has always had form when it comes to excluding certain people. In Britain and Ireland, and within living memory, Jews have been excluded from some golf clubs (or Jewish members have been restricted to a quota.)

There has always been an issue with women golfers, or "lady members" as they are usually called in the golfing community. Women have been vigorous golfers for many decades - turn back the pages of Irish Tatler and Sketch to the 1930s and observe these sportswomen, feistily wearing golfing trousers, driving their irons over the green.

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