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British Open 2013: R&A To Open Gender Debate In Future

The head of the R&A, golf’s most long standing governing body, has gone on record again this week to state that the issue of male-only clubs will be tackled in the future. Peter Dawson, the CEO of the R&A, has been targeted by the press and public alike over two headline golfing stories this year, one being the long-running debate over the use of anchored putters, and the other being the R&A’s male only policy and the use of male-only members clubs at Open Championship venues.

One of these issues, the use of anchored putters, was one always supported vociferously by the R&A and their chief in terms of their desire to rid the game of this ‘evil’, and that debate has now closed with the date set in place for the outlawing of these clubs.

A far bigger evil though is that of discrimination in the game of golf, and Dawson and his minions have been rather less supportive of public outrage on this matter. With this week’s Open Championship being organized by the R&A, and being held at Muirfield, a club with a male-only membership policy, Dawson has obviously been put right under the cosh again this week as this issue has bubbled to the surface once more. Dawson said: "When things are a bit quieter, after the championship, I'm quite sure we'll be taking a look at everything to see what kind of sense we can make of it for the future."

When asked though whether he thought the ongoing discrimination against women in the sport was akin to that of racial discrimination he added: “I think that's a ridiculous question, if I may say so. There's a massive difference between racial discrimination, anti-Semitism, where sectors of society are downtrodden and treated very, very badly, indeed. And to compare that with a men's golf club, I think, is frankly absurd. There's no comparison whatsoever.”