Peter Alliss, Ryder Cup player and veteran golf commenter, defends Muirfield’s untenable ban on women in the worst way possible.
Just when we thought golf was progressing by dropping sexist Muirfield from the Open rota, one of its most “distinguished” personages outs himself as a contemptible misogynist of the highest order. Peter Alliss was unfortunately not ashamed to air his agreement with the club’s ban on women, seeing as he didn’t quite consider them people of their own right. After all, for him, there’s only one way a woman could presume to join the good old boy’s club. And no, it’s not by actually having any ability.
“The women who are there as wives of husbands, they get all the facilities. If somebody wants to join, well you’d better get married to someone who’s a member.”
Yes, he actually said this. Never mind all the ladies at the LPGA, many of whom, God forbid, have no husbands to serve as instant membership cards. He’s just dismissed a wide swathe of the population without a second thought and he doesn’t even have a good reason for doing so. Just that, well, men are from Mars and women from Venus and never shall the twain meet.
“I want to join the WVS [Women’s Voluntary Service], but unless I have a few bits and pieces nipped away on my body, I’m not going to be able to get in.”
We obviously think this is bullshit reasoning on a number of levels. Comparing the WVS to golf is a bit misguided because they’re not even the same kind of organisation. There is a reason there are no women clamouring to join the Boy’s Scouts and that is because it literally is an organisation specifically tailored to the needs and development of little boys. The girls have their own equivalent and the WVS is on a level with both of these organisations, being a safe haven for women to come together to address concerns that affect them as a group.
Like many other games, golf just started off as a way for people to pass the time. There’s really nothing about the game itself that’s stopping women from picking it up as recreation themselves. You don’t need remarkable strength to play, just a keen mind and great technique. And last we heard, nobody actually used any specific”bits and pieces” to drive or putt. The only thing that’s really making this a “gentleman’s game” are antiquated attitudes and an unwillingness to share. We’d be hard-pressed to find a less gallant mindset.