Jack Nicklaus gave his opinion on Murifield’s decision to continue their men only membership policy. The Scottish club, and namesake of Jack’s Memorial tournament venue, decided it would rather nullify its Open Championship status then have women enter the clubhouse.
“If that’s what they wish to do, they won’t have tournaments,” said Nicklaus on Tuesday at Murifield Village Golf Club, who named his course after the Scottish venue “because of what it meant to me.”
“Augusta (National and the Masters) had to get with the modern age; St. Andrews (the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, whose business spin-off, the R&A, runs The Open) had to get with the modern age.”
“I think Muirfield has been too much a part of the fabric of the game of golf for so many years that they’ll come around. I can’t believe they wouldn’t.”
“We had the issue here for about 10 minutes,” said Nicklaus, who said he was determined to keep it equitable. “I hated golf courses that discriminated and I just felt like I didn’t want to be that part.”
I agree with Jack, many of you don’t. Some suggested the Murifield vote was a victory for private clubs and their right to be left alone. I can understand the argument that the medalling political correctness police should piss off, where appropriate, but lets acknowledge some of the issues first.
Women should not be deprived of playing “historically significant” golf courses because of their gender. If you want to build a club tomorrow and dictate a membership policy based on gender go ahead, but this isn’t the issue. Women didn’t get the opportunity to create “special places” that are “steeped in tradition” because of the societal standards at the point of their inception. Women were never allowed to place the foundations that would form the bedrock of legendary locations.
So you see Murifield’s decision is a bit like saying a woman can’t enter the White House because the constitution was written by men. Today we find ourselves in a society where our mothers, wives and sisters can enjoy golf almost anywhere. This is because we progressed away from a time when gender normalities were strictly imposed. We started to throw out antiquated codes of living that were no longer viable in our enlightened age. It has nothing to do with what’s “politically correct” and more to do with what’s right.