An elderly British golf commentator is pretty sure that golf — the game of choice for world leaders wishing to bore their political foes to death — is being ruined by women and their peevish insistence on the “equality thing.” Peter Alliss told a magazine that admitting women to golf clubs has “caused mayhem” and “buggered up the game for a lot of people.”
There are around 3,000 golf clubs in the United Kingdom, and in the past couple years many of the single-sex ones have slowly begun admitting women, including the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland, seen as the spiritual home of the single dullest sport ever conceived by creaky masochists moving at an agonizingly glacial pace as everyone watching at home prays for the sweet release of death. But in an interview with Radio Times, Alliss, 84, who’s been golf-nouncing since 1961 and is considered “the voice of British golf,” claimed that women golfers hate being allowed to play golf. From Radio Times:
The golf commentator, who will be covering the US Masters on the BBC this year, says that legislation to phase out restrictions for women on the use of club facilities have caused a drop in interest for female members.
“I’m told the Ladies Golf Union has lost 150,000 members since equality for women came in,” Alliss told Radio Times. “Hundreds of women have left golf clubs because they’ve gone from paying half fare to full fare. It’s caused mayhem.
“All of the wives of members at these clubs could have used the facilities for free. When I was at Muirfield a couple of years ago talking to a few of the lady members, I said, ‘What about this equality? You must be happy about that?’ ‘God no,’ they said. ‘We can come here and do what we like, we can play golf and don’t pay anything.’
There are only two kinds of women who play golf, you see: the ones who do it because their husbands play golf, and the ones who don’t play golf anymore because they have died. Alliss added, “The equality thing is a great part of golf. Equality for women: a few people battled away to get it, they got it, and they have buggered up the game for a lot of people.”
The Ladies Golf Union politely told the Telegraph that Alliss is full of shit, phrasing it in the most British and diplomatic way possible. Finance director Sam Burton admitted they’d lost members, but said she doubted that “equality” was the culprit: “We had 189,000 members in 2010 and we’ve gone down to 159,000 in 2014. We’ve lost 30,000 members which isn’t good. I know where he’s coming from but personally I don’t think that’s the reason.” She added, “I think he’s speaking for a very small minority, probably the older lady golfer. The clubs he’s referring to where the wife just got to play because her husband was a member – I don’t know any such clubs. People who are serious about their golf wouldn’t really see that as acceptable.”
It’s possible that Alliss is speaking for the silent, frustrated majority of golf-loving British women who’d like to play less golf in fewer places. Or else he’s been driven slowly mad by the crushing, almost punitive tedium of the game he’s spent a half-century watching.
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