A Cardiff golf club is getting hot and bothered about sex discrimination issues after a member challenged its weekend tee-off rules and the right for women to play in men-only competitions.
Member Lowri Roberts says she has been suspended from playing while the club considers disciplinary measures against her for speaking out about what she sees as discriminatory attitudes.
Meanwhile the owner of the award-winning commercially-operated course has distanced itself from the dispute. Members of Cottrell Park Golf Resort formed a club called the Cottrell Park Members Association, it explains on its website. ‘Golf, like many other sports, has traditionally held separate competitions for each gender, consequently each Section arranges their own competitions applying their own rules, (for example Ladies use different Tee Boxes to Men).
Presently CPMA’s Ladies Section do not allow Men to enter their competitions and CPMA’s Men’s Section do not allow Ladies to enter their competitions’.
However, it adds, ‘there are Mixed competitions where the genders can compete against one another under a different set of rules. CPMA competitions are held so that both genders can play competitions on the weekdays and the weekends’.
The resort has two 18 hole courses. ‘Members who do not want to play, (or who are precluded from playing), in a CPMA competition, can still play golf on whichever golf course the competition is not being played’, it said.
Also, there is ‘a concession given by CPMA in 1998, (or thereabouts), that allows Lady Members to play competitive golf on the same course and at the same time as the Men’s Saturday competition’.
The club’s 2018 annual general meeting had considered a motion that would have allowed women members to compete in men’s Saturday competitions, but this was not passed.
This angered Lowri Roberts saying she was apparently no longer allowed to play competitive golf in the ‘men’s slot’ on a Saturday morning.
‘Surely this can’t be allowed in this day and age’, she tweeted.
Resort general manger Derek Smith said competitions are arranged by the members for the members under R&A Rules of Golf.
‘Traditionally CPMA Ladies and Men’s Sections have decided to hold their golf competitions separately and unfortunately there are currently not enough Lady Members who want to play competitive golf on a Saturday morning which led to a Lady Member making various proposals to CPMA, one of which was voted upon at their 2018 AGM. I am sure, given time, the way in which CPMA arranges competitions will democratically evolve to the benefit of all Members. Both genders have the same membership rights and The Resort would certainly welcome many more Lady Members’.
Golf Wales says clubs must not discriminate against any member, visitor or guest. ‘Discrimination is treating someone less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic. The protected characteristics are: Age, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Race, Religion or Belief, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Gender Reassignment, Pregnancy and Maternity.
‘Where a club consists of male and female membership. Golf Union Wales would advocate the following: Men and Women who are seven day members should be able to play both competitive and non-competitive golf at the weekends and clubs should be encouraged to introduce alternative day qualifiers at the weekend for ladies who are unable to participate in the traditional weekday competitions. The Club should also be encouraged to permit ladies and gents to play together in these separate weekend competitions with the ability to mark each other’s cards.
‘Clubs are encouraged to allow enough time at the weekends for social golf which should be accessible equally by both genders’.
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