Boys’ clubs

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I agree with Craig Cockburn (Letters, 2 July) when he likened the attitude of some golf clubs towards women members to that of the politics and the laws of apartheid South Africa.

Discrimination against women in so-called mens’ clubs is a complex issue but I think it continues mainly because many of the men behind it all 
are prejudiced in a variety of ways.

Women may be allowed to apply to join a sporting club nowadays which hitherto was impossible because of their gender but their application would be scrutinised by a discriminating committee who have the power to decline membership for all sorts of reasons.

In that respect, women applicants are no different to the men.

This “judgment” is what men have had to put up with over the years, that being: are they suitable for the precious club that they wish to join?

Groucho Marx had a terrible time joining a country club in the States because he was Jewish and eventually he joined the famous Hillcrest Club which was formed by Jews because of the discriminatory policies of other clubs.

One club offered to waive its non-Jewish rule provided Groucho abstained from using the swimming pool, and he famously remarked: “My daughter’s only half Jewish. Can she wade in up to her knees?”

I think a number of the so-called prestigious golf clubs are run by men who are simply insecure.

The etiquette in some of these clubs is intimidating and meant to be so.

The male members slavishly abide by all the fussy rules and regulations but most of the women I know can’t be bothered with it all and they would have it changed if they got the chance. Therein lies the problem.

Douglas S Bruce


Isle of Skye