Time for Dana Carvey's "Grumpy Old Man" routine...
R&A Will Revisit Their Men-Only Policy After The Open
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/17/13
The Royal & Ancient are one of golf's two rule-making bodies, along with the United States Golf Association. R&A chair Peter Dawson has come under tremendous fire from, well... almost everyone for the R&A refusing to have women as part of their organization.

At a 40-minute press conference earlier today, a traditional event before the start of the Open Championship, R&A chair Peter Dawson finally allowed that it was a "polarising issue" and began cratering to the outside pressure:
"We will have a good look at what people are saying and try to take a view about all of this and find the most sensible way forward."
The pressure has also been applied toward the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, a.k.a. Muirfield - the site of the Open Championship. While women are permitted to play Muirfield as visitors and to use the clubhouse, the "Honourable Company" itself continues to be men-only. A number of writers, politicians, and ordinary people have ratcheted up the pressure on Muirfield to begin welcoming women as members, not just as visiting golfers playing the course. And as we reported on Tuesday, this may happen shortly after the Open Championship has concluded.

It is quite legal under both American law and UK legislation to have gender-specific private clubs. This writer does not wish for judicial activists to overturn that part of the law. But it is this writer's opinion that it is quite disgraceful that one of golf's two rule-making bodies is still men-only.


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Image via Flickr, R&A


[ comments ]
joe jones says:
If Muirfield chooses to remain a mens only club they have every legal right to but the Royal and Ancient should follow the lead of the PGA and remove them from the rota. Cypress Point was removed from the Bing Crosby, Shoal Creek lost it,s affiliaton and Butler National lost the Western Open. All of those fine clubs are still functioning as far as I know. Scotland has so many other great sites that would be happy to replace the three courses in question. The problem as I see it is that both Muirfield and the R & A make a huge amount of money from the open. Rejecting women members while benefiting from those same women paying to see the event is at best hypocritical. Even Augusta national saw the light and joined this century. Peter Dawson can make light of the situation but logic should tell him he is fighting a losing battle.
7/17/13
 
mjaber says:
I'm confused. Is the R&A a men-only club, or are we talking about Muirfield. The reason I ask is the last sentence "one of golf's two rule-making bodies is still men-only."

Can you only join the R&A if you are male?
7/17/13
 
bkuehn1952 says:
Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is a male-only golf club. Prior to 2004, the club was involved in Rule-making. In 2004 they spun off the Rules authority activity to a new entity called, the R & A. So the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews no longer has any direct involvement in governing the game. I suspect the people involved in the R & A are often members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews but technically they are two separate organizations.

Muirfield is the course owned by The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. They are not connected with the R & A or Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews except where they might have joint members. The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers is a male-only organization.

Clear as mud? ;)
7/17/13
 
bkuehn1952 says:
I am not sure that the R&A is male-only. One of their Directors is a woman.
7/17/13
 
larrynjr says:
Augusta just recently (this year) admitted women as members, PGA tour never took them off the rota for not having women members.........
7/17/13
 
joe jones says:
Augusta is not in any rota. It is a privately owned facility and the tournament (Masters) is run independently from both the USGA and the R&A.They accept no funding from either and therefore not beholden to either. The Rota at the British Open consists of nine courses in Scotland and England.
7/17/13
 
Werepuppie says:
The Masters is not a PGA event.It is an Invitation only event sponsered by Augusta National.
7/17/13
 
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