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SBD Global/August 28, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club 'Happy' To Let Men Golf On Their Course

In all the "brouhaha surrounding the Royal and Ancient Golf Club’s refusal to admit women members," it is often overlooked that there are women-only clubs as well, according to Peter Dixon of the LONDON TIMES. In Berkshire there is Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club, a traditional club that "numbers the late Queen Mother among its former captains." The present captain ANNE STINTON said that the club has been going for 110 years and "has offered associate membership to men for much of that time." When the Equality Act came into force, it was decided to "allow men to become full members - coyly described on the club’s website as The Gentlemen of Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club." Stinton said, "So, were all the members happy with the introduction of a men’s section? It was up and down really. I took golf up in later life and when I was learning to play I played at public courses and was always worried that the men were going to hit us on the head with their wild hitting. We never get anything like that here. There are no wild hitters." When asked about the R&A's stance she said, "Personally, I think it’s their issue. It’s up to them. I don’t think we’re as pushy as the men. One single-sex club that has stayed that way is Formby Ladies Golf Club near Liverpool." Club Secretary ANNE BROMLEY said, "We’re under no pressure at all to admit men. Formby Ladies Club was established in 1896, so we have been going a long time. We are a very traditional club and it works well for us." Ladies' Golf Union CEO SHONA MALCOLM "seems to be taking a softly-softly approach." Malcolm: "It is important that we keep a middle ground as we have no issue with single-gender clubs, both men and women. How a membership is made up should remain the decision of golf clubs" (LONDON TIMES, 8/27).
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