Having established myself in my earlier postings as firmly sexist, the subject of today’s post, and the next is …………………sex! “What has sex to do with golf?” I hear you cry. Well, read on:
I have been golfing in the UK recently and the main topic of conversation in pubs and golf clubs up and down the British Isles just now is the news that plans for a Single Equality Act are being drawn up by the Government. The proposals will spell an end to the “sexist” practice of women being stopped from using certain dining rooms or bars, or only being allowed to play golf on a certain day – common practices in golf clubs in the UK . One golf club I know of has a white line painted along the middle of its bar marking where women can and cannot stand. When the proposed law changes appeared in the newspapers, it caused many blazered, striped-tied, gentlemen golf club denizens to choke over their gin and tonics. Here are two typical headlines: “No more ladies’ day at the golf club under sex laws shake-up”. “Ladies’ days at the golf club could be bunkered”.
At my own home club in Wales , ladies are classed as associates, not members, are only allowed to play on Saturdays after 4 pm, and there is a men only bar. The standard reaction to the planned law change from most members was that the club should go back to a male only enclave. Under the proposed overhaul of equality laws women will also get the legal right to breast-feed in public places, and there has been speculation as to whether this would interfere unduly with their golf swing. A couple of old chestnuts, probably apocryphal, have been doing the rounds. The first concerns Margaret Thatcher who, when Prime Minister, went in her official car to pick up her husband, Denis, who had been golfing at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent. However, she was asked to wait outside as females were not allowed in the clubhouse. Then there was the occasion when Her Majesty The Queen was to be the official guest at a long-established golf club. As a special exception, she would be allowed to enter the front door, a privilege not normally allowed to females. One ancient stalwart was heard to remark: “I don’t think I will be in the Club that evening”.
That gentleman would no doubt be apoplectic at last week’s historic breakthrough when the British Women’s Open was held for the first time at the home of golf, St. Andrews, and the ladies were to be allowed to enter the R & A clubhouse, normally men-only. Although the men’s Open has been held there 27 times, this is the first professional event for women ever to be held on the grand Old Course. For two centuries the home of golf has barred the fair sex from membership and the clubhouse. The fuddy duddies would no doubt be doubly appalled by the fact that among those teeing off in the tournament were at least two temptresses who feature in their own raunchy calendars. Sophie Sandolo, the one left, above in the basque, stockings and stilettos, is a 30-year-old described as ‘French-born Italian’ who lives among the millionaires of Monaco. She began playing golf at 14, turned professional in 1999 and finished 15th in the order of merit in 2005. She has career earnings of more than £500,000 and lists her interests as sport, shopping, dancing and cinema. Of her skimpy outfits she says: “My first sexy calendar is intended to represent my love for golf, my desire for freedom and a touch of coquetry.”
Natalie Gulbis, the one in the white bikini, is a blonde 24-year-old from Sacramento, California. She turned professional when she was 18 won her first LPGA Tour title at the Evian Masters in July, and has career earnings of more than £1.25million.
Happily, here in Thailand , these matters are not an issue. Ladies are very welcome. Clubhouses have changing facilities for ladies, spas and beauty salons, and pleasant 19th hole refreshment areas, open to all.
One last politically incorrect footnote: Why is Michelle Wie, pictured left, the one more decorously clad, having trouble with her driving? Answer: Because she is a women, of course!
Play fast, swing slow