Golf Clubs – No, The Other Kind
When you take up golf, one thing that you will almost always seek to do is get membership of a club. The fact that a club is both something you use to hit a golf ball and something you join in order to get the chance to hit a golf ball has led to no small amount of confusion in the past. But simply put, if your friend tells you he is going to join a golf club, he probably does not mean that he is going to attach himself to a reinforced titanium stick while, unless your friend is very wealthy, should he tell you he is going to buy a golf club on his lunch break, he probably doesn’t mean he is off to put a down payment on several acres of real estate.
Joining a golf club is actually surprisingly difficult in many cases. There has been no small amount of controversy in the past over people seeking to join one and being refused on what seemed like either very arbitrary, or possibly heavily discriminatory, grounds. One of the world’s most famous clubs, the Augusta National (home to major golf competition the US Masters), first had a black member in 1990. As of yet, it has never had a female member, although it does allow women to play the course as guests of its members. The Augusta National is far from the only club not to have female members, but it is – as the current permanent home of the Masters – the highest-profile club with single-sex membership. Its chairman, Hootie Johnson, says that the club may well have female members in the future, but that he will not be threatened into making a change.
In general, though, most golf clubs have a far more relaxed membership policy than the Augusta National or Scotland’s Muirfield, although in many cases membership policy is dictated by the club’s current members whose own opinions and motivations are theirs and theirs alone. The best way to ensure you can get membership of a club is to be friends with someone who is already a member. A little light lobbying on their part, and if you are lucky, you’ll be given the call.