Lowri Roberts says she is being discriminated against by her golf club over men-only tee times on Saturday mornings
Woman In Golf Club Equality Row Over Men-Only Tee Times
A female golfer is threatening her golf club with legal action over male-only tee times on Saturday mornings, according to the BBC.
Earlier this week, members at Cottrell Park Golf Resort near Cardiff voted to ban women from playing during prime times on Saturday mornings.
Men have the option to play from 7am-10am on both of the resort’s courses on Saturdays whilst women now may only play on one.
Lowri Roberts told BBC Sport that the other course is more for societies and visitors and not “an environment not conducive to competitive golf”.
The club had a by-law introduced in 1998 to give men and women equal tee times and that was brought back in March, however a recent vote overturned this by majority of one.
The CPMA (Cottrell Park Members Association) called an Exceptional General Meeting for Tuesday to overturn the by-law on women playing during prime time on Saturdays. The vote came up one short of the two-thirds majority needed to allow women to play in the men’s tee times.
Roberts told BBC Sport, “I was told there are plenty of grounds through the Equalities Act if I wanted to do something about it.”
“We are in the minority and because of that we need a leg-up and we need to be able to go in those men’s slots,” she said. “But they are unwilling to see that and they don’t care.”
The 18-handicapper, who pays the same annual subs as the men at the club, said, “I’ve just been hit with barriers and barriers, and doors have been closed in my face from every direction.”
There were two topics voted on during this week’s Exceptional General Meeting – one on competitions being gender neutral and ther other on men and women playing in each other’s tee time slots (women have reserved times on Thursdays).
The gender neutral competitions vote was ‘comprehensively outvoted’ according to the BBC and the tee-times vote was one short of the two-thirds majority.
Interestingly, a vote only needs a majority of 51% in a standard Annual General Meeting, so the result would have been different had it not been an Exceptional General Meeting
Lowri Roberts has apparently sought legal advice, and has contacted her local MP, the Parliamentary Golf Group and Wales Golf.
She told the BBC, “We’ve gone back to square one – well, worse because we are back to where they were before 1998.
“I feel none of us want to hear bad stories about golf because we love the game. However if this kind of behaviour is being allowed in clubs up and down the country, however big or small those clubs are, someone needs to do something about it.
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“This is what I told a man at the meeting: ‘I’m finding it very difficult to do what you can take for granted, simply for being born a girl. That can’t be right in this day and age.’
“Yes there are opportunities to play there for women on a Saturday but it is much more difficult for me to do it because of the conditions – playing among all the visitors and the lack of full-time lady members.”
CPMA Chairman Andy Mogridge says the club were within their right to have the votes.
“The CPMA have had a good look at the constitution and the current rules and there are no exemptions to allow lady members to play within the men’s competition tee slots,” Mogridge told BBC Sport. “That’s the reason the EGM was called.
“There are a number of iterations of the men’s rules that clearly state that the current version supersedes any other written or verbal agreements. So the concession was not valid.”