Weymouth Golfer Joins Open Championship Sexism Debate
8:27am 18th July 2013
A Weymouth golfing pro has branded the "men's only" clubs hosting the Open Championship "ridiculous".
The major tournament teed off today (Thursday 18th July) with top names like Tiger Woods and Justin Rose in competition for the Claret Jug prize.
The 142nd championship is played over 3 courses in Scotland - Muirfield Golf Club, Troon and Royal St. George's - that don't allow women membership, and lady golfers can only play at certain times.
The centuries-old membership policy has been slammed by senior politicians and sportsman alike.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Sammond, have both declined invitations to the Open on grounds of sexism. A number of Olympic athletes have followed suit.
Weymouth PGA Golf professional Fern Grimshaw told Wessex FM the sexist rules are disgusting.
"It's absolutely ridiculous, I love watching The Open like every other golfer but I really didn’t know they didn't allow lady members. It's about time equality set in."
"It's harder enough to try and encourage young girls or women to get involved with the sport is hard enough as it is, then you get a major tournament that doesn't allow lady members doesn’t really encourage them to take the sport up".
"If I was going up to watch it, I would've been put off for sure. As a professional I wouldn’t have felt comfortable at the tournament because it's kinda like you're not wanted there".
Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson was bombarded with questions about gender and sexism at a press conference before the tournament. He said the board will look at the "issue of gender" after the British Open.