Golf an easy target for the PC brigade

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To date, I have only read one correspondent who is ­prepared to apply the word “tiresome” to the single-­gender golf club debate (your report, 18 July).

If any group of people decides to form a club or society (of any sort) which has rules and regulations which do not break any laws of the land, what right have those who ­belong to the Department of Political Correctness to impose their beliefs on such ­law-abiding people?

The words attributed to Voltaire regarding the right to free speech apply equally to the right to free association.

The recent pathetic tokenism of Augusta National Golf Club is worse than the single-gender issue itself.

I would not join a club like Muirfield or the Royal and ­Ancient (not that I would ever be invited), because I rather like playing golf with women, but the members’ right to run their clubs in the way that they wish should not impinge on how the Open Championship venue is selected.

The best championship needs the best courses.

It is sad to read that the governing body is considering being railroaded into discussing this issue. There are many ladies-only organisations, clubs and societies for which the question of dual-gender membership would never even be considered.

Sadly, golf just seems to be an easy target.

John N E Rankin

Bridge of Allan

The Muirfield debate has nothing whatever to do with golf. What is at issue is the right of law-abiding citizens to come together in any grouping that appeals to them.

Even our extremely experienced First Minister seems incapable of distinguishing between the private club’s membership and its course’s function as the venue of a public event, which, incidentally, welcomes women.

Ladies are allowed to play Muirfield under limited conditions, but I don’t know whether Lundin Links all-
ladies club allows men to ­participate. (Incidentally, why is there no campaign against this club’s “segregation” ­policy?)

Why is there no anti-separatist movement fighting for the abolition of separate men’s and women’s competitions? At heart, this is no more than yet another example of political correctness, whose sole purpose is to extinguish individualism and impose uniformity on us all, denying the whole essence of human nature.

From the point of view of civic liberty, my solution to this non-problem would be for the Muirfield members to withdraw from the Open Championship list of courses and cancel the arrangements for ladies to use its facilities.

Robert Dow


I’m grateful to John Cameron of St Andrews for clarifying, if that’s the right word, Muirfield’s stance on women golfers (Letters, 19 July).

I have decided not to tell my six-year-old daughter that the men have decided that her older self will be allowed to play only on Tuesdays and Thursdays; that she might be able to play at other times (but only if she is invited on to the course by a man); that her brother can join the club but she cannot; and that she will not be allowed into the café because she is a girl.

If Dr Cameron would like to explain that to her, and more importantly to try to justify it, he would be very welcome. I might suggest a hard hat, though.

C Hegarty

North Berwick

As well as Royal St George, Muirfield and Royal Troon, one should not forget that there is a fourth Open venue whose host club is male-only: the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews.

For some reason, though, it seems the situation at the Home of Golf is being overlooked in the current argument. I wonder why.

Jane Ann Liston

St Andrews

Nobody cares that First Minister Alex Salmond is not ­attending the Open except for those media people who have been raising the “male members only” issue with officials and players, thereby giving this publicity stunt their ­support.

I do not recall him issuing a press release denouncing “The All England Club” for ­retaining its name when he attended there recently. Maybe I missed it.

Iain Davenport


First Minister Alex Salmond deems female membership of a golf club a more important issue than the protection of the many girls in Scotland who are the victims of female genital mutilation.

Not a single prosecution has been brought in Scotland against those who carry out this barbaric practice on innocent girls.

Serious violence against females in Scotland goes totally unpunished while Mr Salmond has attracted worldwide media attention to the membership rules of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

Of course, there was zero chance that Mr Salmond would have used the media attention over Muirfield to draw attention to the fact that despite years of SNP rule female genital mutilation is routinely carried out in Scotland with impunity.

Ian Stewart

Atheist Scotland