Not only is Caitlyn Jenner taking advantage of the women’s tees after her transformation, she’s now got a place in the women’s locker room. She has just posted a picture on Instagram celebrating her brand new spot at the Sherwood Country Club, home to Hollywood golfers like Jack Nicholson, Wayne Gretzky and Justin Timberlake and former venue of Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge Tournament.
A Disturbing History of Exclusion
Historically, golf clubs are not known to be hives of progressiveness. The well-known acronym, Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden just about says it all. And it isn’t just the ladies who’ve been the unfortunate targets of exclusion. The Augusta National Golf Club, the Southern grand dame of American golfing institutions, did not admit a single black member until 1991 – a staggering 60 years after the club was founded!
Condoleeza Rice was one of the two first women to be admitted to Augusta. Big steps, guys. Source: Jack Gruber/USA Today Sports
If you were hoping that the situation has resolved itself at this late date, you’ll be disheartened to learn that Scottish anti-sectarian charity Nil By Mouth has been forced to investigate after 50 clubs were accused of discriminating against golfers of different religious backgrounds in 2014. All in all, the golf club hardly seems like a venue where one such as Caitlyn Jenner would feel welcome. We are very glad to report that our cynicism was misplaced.
This happened as recently as 2009. Source: complex.com
Winds of Change at PGA Tour?
Not only is this inclusion is a huge step forward for a sport that has always been wary of outsiders, it’s also a way to bridge two very different worlds within golf. Caitlyn Jenner would hardly be out of place among her sisters at the LPGA, where there are several openly gay female golfers.
But among members of the LPGA’s golden child brother, the PGA Tour, she will undoubtedly turn heads. If gay PGA Tour pros, we would hardly know it. It remains a challenging environment to come out in, thanks to a staunchly conservative Christian culture that manifests in Bible studies throughout the tour and the casual use of slurs such as “fag” or “Mary” for missed putts. We wonder if Caitlyn Jenner’s refusal to blend into the khaki-and-polo set will encourage tight-lipped tour pros to air out that stifling closet.