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2009 Ryder Cup
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A fair way to go

Editorial, The Scotsman, 12 February 2001

When the Scottish executive chose to omit Muirfield when backing potential venues for the 2009 Ryder Cup on account of the golf club’s men-only membership policy, that blow on behalf of sexual equality only hit the tip of the iceberg. Sex discrimination remains rife in the game of golf, where women often find themselves treated as second-class citizens, both in the clubhouse and on fairway.

The lure of National Lottery improvement grants, valid only if a club does not breach the Lottery’s rules on discrimination, are no incentive to wealthy clubs who do not require financial assistance. A new survey which depicts golf as a sport still tarnished by racism, sexism and snobbery confirms what we have long suspected: that the game has a long way to go before it arrives in the 21st century.

In Scotland, we are told, the problem of elitism is not as pronounced as in other countries. That is only a small comfort.

We take great pride in telling the world that Scotland is the home of golf. Would it not be appropriate, then, to take the lead in ensuring golf is a game for all, and not a breeding ground for social apartheid?

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