Are Career Plaintiffs Crippling Golf's Growth?
Raquel Hoover, Intern, Golf Channel, USA
Andrew Fleming, Vice President Business Development and Senior Counsel, Golf Channel, USA
The golf course is not always an inviting place for women – sometimes they are not even allowed through the front gate. The Royal & Ancient, one of golf’s governing bodies, recently found itself embroiled in controversy for hosting The Open Championship at World famous Muirfield, a mens-only club. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond boycotted the event in his homeland – saying “This is not only about golf, it’s about women’s place in society…excluding women from joining excludes them from some important circles of influence…I can see nothing honorable in their continued exclusion of women.” In addition to the exclusionary membership policies of many private clubs, many courses without explicit anti-female policies remain uninviting to women – and oftentimes overtly discourage female play. Meanwhile, those invested in the health of the sport and business of golf have identified women as an underrepresented demographic and one that with increased participation could stem the industry’s recent decline.
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