Only balls allowed…


"I'm playing golf".A socially acceptable way of explaining why you can't get shit done.

Golf. A game as deep rooted in tradition and etiquette as Afternoon Tea is at The Ritz.

It’s beginnings originate from Scotland, because a chap was playing a game of hitting pebbles into a loch with a stick. If I sit and try to imagine this, I have visions of a rugged landscape, a burly bearded man and the sounds of nature. Simple, pure, escapism.

I guess not much has changed in that respect. It’s still essentially men, hitting things towards a target in often beautiful and serene landscapes in order to amuse themselves. What’s not to love about golf from that point of view? But one thing has changed since those days of the man on the loch, and that is, women. Women have changed.

We are no longer just homemakers, baby incubators, cooks, cleaners, something pretty to be paraded around on a man’s arm. We are much more than that. We are politicians, we are surgeons, we are teachers, we are influential. The list can go on and on. And, would you believe it, we are actually pretty damn good at sports.

I know! Shock, horror, gasp! Us mere women, with our apparrent fragile dispositions, weak muscles and boobs can actually join in with sports and often, excell at them.

Times have changed, and are still changing, and luckily for us here in the UK, equality between the sexes is now more achievable than ever. Women can go for the same jobs as men, we are allowed to vote, there are laws to help prevent discrimination, we can do whatever we would like to do.

The Suffragettes fought for our cause many years ago, and the fruits of their labour are now being felt all around our great Isle. We are forever in their debt.

So, I can well imagine what Emmeline, Christabel and Syliva Pankhurt’s reaction would have been yesterday when news broke of a golf club in Scotland voting to retain their ban on women members, and therefore loosing out on hosting one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. I think it is pretty safe to say they would have at least tutted a bit and perhaps made a plaquard to express their disgust – they were known to have vandalised a few golf courses in their time for much the same reason…

In the year 2016, over 100 years since the Suffragettes fought for our cause, we are still at the mercy of men and their ideals in some respects. A quick google of ‘funny golf quotes’ and you get an array of sexist golf pictures and cartoons spring up. In some respects, things haven’t moved on at all where sport, and most certainly golf, are concerned. Don’t get me wrong, there are a huge amount of golf clubs which realise that it’s 2016 and that you cannot ban women from playing at your course, but then there are places like Muirfield which still harbour this idealistic, sexist, view, that women are not good enough to be in the company of men and play on their greens.

Muirfield is a golf club steeped in tradition. On the shores of the Firth of Forth, it stands majestically, overlooking the sea. It’s a truly stunning golf course in a beautful location. Who wouldn’t want the chance to play there?!

The club has always been ‘men only’ or ‘only balls allowed’ as I now like to say.

In order to host the Open Championship, the club had to change it’s stance and accept women so that the ladies competition could also take place.

A vote took place and the result came back in yesterday…

64% for the change to 36% against it. As they needed a 2/3 majority, the vote could not go ahead and the changes that should have been made, couldn’t be.

So near, and yet so far.

The votes were cast via a postal ballot so the members didn’t even have to see each other and show their faces.

“Just tick a box sir and you can get on with your day, we know how busy you are, because you’re a man”. Thank you very much.

Sadly, 36% of those men ticked the wrong box. The ‘I’ve got a penis so therefore I’m better than you’ box.

Within moments of the decision being announced, Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, which organises the tournament, responded with a statement saying the championship would not be held at a venue that did not admit female members. Good for him. A voice of reason in an utterly maddening situation.



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…only gentle, girlie claps though please. No cheering or whooping. We are ladies after all…

The depth of hostility felt by some traditionalist members at Muirfield, towards the admission of women, emerged when journalists were told that a group of about 30 members had written anonymously to their fellow golfers before the ballot, urging them to reject the changes.

The letter argued that, and quote, “a traditional resistance to change is one of the foundations of our unique position in golf and our reputation”, it stated that “the introduction of lady members is bound to create difficulties”, suggesting that women’s presence would “endanger foursomes and speedy play”.

Endanger foursomes. Come on?! Really?!

For those of you who aren’t sure what a foursome is, it is where a group of people decide to pleasure…

…ah, right, he wasn’t talking about that kind of foursome. Silly me, you’ll have to forgive me, I am only a woman after all.

A foursome is where you play as a group of 4 and you split into pairs. Each player in each pair hits every other shot, so if one hits the tee shot, the other plays the second shot and they then alternate on every shot until their ball is holed out. It’s all balls and holes, balls and holes is golf.

Why women would jeapordise this type of play I have no idea. Maybe we can’t count up to 4 so will play with 6 people and mess it up? Maybe we would forget whose turn it was because we were thinking about how pretty the flowers are. I’ve no idea what the chuff he is talking about to be honest.

It went on: “Our special nature – ‘a gentleman’s club where golf is played’ – is quite unique with its fraternity built inter alia on foursomes play with a round taking only the same time as lunch and leaving enough time for a further round after lunch (even in mid-winter).”

Right, well lucky you getting to be out all day swinging your golf club around with your fraternity pals in your jolly ‘balls only’ foursomes. I’m sure your wife back home is actually glad of the peace and quiet it brings when you bugger off to play a round or two. Utter idiot. Can you tell I perhaps feel slight contempt for the man??

I didn’t realise, but Clare Balding actually refused to present the golf for the BBC from Muirfield before now because of their stance on not letting women play there. Good for her. I love Clare I do.

And as much as I dislike Nicola Sturgeon, she too has waded in to the arguement to reiterate how such an old fashioned ideal is not acceptable in an age where women can lead countries, but they can’t wack a ball around on a hallowed piece of testicle riddled turf. Those aren’t her words, they’re mine, but she was hinting at much the same thing… 😉

I understand tradition. I understand passion. But I don’t understand this decision at all.

I understand that this is a private club, which the members pay a lot of money to join, so therefore they should be able to say what happens in their own club, but I just still can’t quite believe in the year 2016, men feel so passionately about women being a nuisance that they would still vote to keep them out of their golf club…unless they’re cleaning it or serving them food and drink that is. Then it’s ok.

They claim it is ok and quite frankly, it isn’t. The justify themselves by saying, “anyway, women are allowed in the club house”. Yes, they are my sperm carrying friend, but only as long as they are married to (or perhaps are just copping off) with one of the male members. That makes it alright then doesn’t it.

I don’t have daughters, I have sons, but if I did, I would probably feel even more strongly about the message this decision is sending to the girls of today, the women of tomorrow.

I know the women have the WI, which is women only, but the men have numerous clubs, exclusive meeting places just for them, which women are not entitled to go in (unless they’re wearing not much more than a golf club to protect their modesty…) but this is different. This is sport. An all inclusive, let’s all get along and celebrate equality, activity. Well, at least that’s how it should be. The WI in fact claims that they have nothing against men joining them, the fact is, none have wanted to. There isn’t a rule against it.

Yesterday’s decision feels like a backward step. A slap around our blusher covered cheeks. And I’m not sure what the answer is.

Scotland as an economy is set to loose at least £100 miillion in income due to this decision. How can a group of pompus, idealistic, sexist, scrotum owning men dictate that an entire economy looses out just because of their ignorance. It’s utter madness.

Anyhow, I’m finished ranting for now. I might take my womanly behind off to the coast to wack some pebbles into the sea with a stick….

Feel free to agree, disagree (which I am sure a lot of people will do) and share.

Life with Baby Kicks




  1. admin
    May 20, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I’ve got no idea. Maybe our minds will melt because we can’t understand how to play golf and make a mess on the course?? x

  2. May 20, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    While I have no interest in playing golf personally, I agree that any woman that does should obviously be free to do so and this club’s attitude is beyond ridiculous. Maybe they should get out of their sad little club and learn a thing or two about women before they are qualified to make a decision.
    I have to question the validity of a business decision that not only eradicates 50% of their potential customers, but loses them a huge monetary gain and a prestigious hosting opportunity. I think this decision should have been made by business people rather than club members who are terrified of being beaten by a woman! #effitfriday

  3. May 20, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    Golf is so epically boring, I can’t imagine why a woman would want to play anyway 😉

    I can’t believe in the 21st century this is still allowed. I’d stage a boycott… but it’s unlikely that would work 😉

    Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine recently posted…Most relaxing holiday everMy Profile

  4. May 20, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    Great post! I am pretty sure Clare Balding would love you to!!!!!

  5. admin
    May 20, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    It is really boring, you’re right. The only good thing is it’s fairly gentle exercise and you get to walk around a nice place…ill probably do it when I retire x

  6. admin
    May 20, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Thanks Amy!xx

  7. admin
    May 20, 2016 / 3:05 pm

    What a wonderful response. Thanks Debbie!!!
    I’ve taken a bit of a battering on Twitter from a bloke for it but I stood my ground and he’s stopped tweeting now
    It’s apparently a private members club so it’s up to them how they run it.
    I reiterated that this doesn’t mean they can exclude women when they want to play a competition there which includes women. He then went silent.
    You’re totally right and win my response of the day award (I have no award but sending you a virtual one )

  8. May 20, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    Well said, Doris, I agree with all this. (I do admit I was waiting for some hilarious anecdote of how one of your sons accidentally swiped a golf ball with a club and incapacitated some old dear waiting in the post office queue….)
    However. I know this sort of blatant sexism definitely exists. My ex-husband was a golf keeno although I detested it. At his fairly posh golf club women are only allowed to play anytime during the day on one particular day in the week, Thursdays, otherwise they can’t play until 3pm. This used to infuriate me. Not that I ever wanted to play, but because of the sheer unfairness of it. They had other rules too, like only men allowed in the bar on certain evenings. I’m pretty sure this goes on in every golf club in the land. Let them get on with it, I say, women have got better things to do with their time…..
    GeorgieMoon recently posted…“Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 26 – ‘Distance’My Profile

  9. May 20, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    Great post. I have no interest in Golf. I think it is so boring but it angers me to think it is an only men’s sport.

  10. May 21, 2016 / 11:50 am

    A sad and totally backwards decision, I am with you I understand tradition and position but this decision is totally useless and now the country will loose money because of some pompous silly men.
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  11. May 22, 2016 / 12:03 am

    Argggh it makes no sense women can be just as good at sport as men so they need to get over themselves. Its just a golf course for crying out loud!
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…Feel Alive With Teami EnergyMy Profile

  12. May 22, 2016 / 5:23 am

    Gosh, how backwards are they!? Have they not been told it’s 2016 and times have moved on? Such a shame. I’ve never played golf (it looks dreadfully dull and boring!) but playing it is on my list of 40 things to do before I turn 40 (if only to confirm that it is, in fact, dull and boring!). Perhaps I should go gatecrash this golf course….
    Elizabeth recently posted…Win a 3 Month Gin Explorer Subscription worth £69.99My Profile

  13. May 22, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    I so agree. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the decision, but I guess once the old men all die out at the club, maybe it will change. I wonder if they employ women cleaners or bar staff? Or whether they ban them in total. Good for the Open for refusign to go there.

  14. admin
    May 23, 2016 / 9:57 am

    I think they allow female staff, just not members. You’re right, we are good for cleaning it would seem…
    The head of the womens european golf was made to eat in the kitchen when she went there apparently. The newspapers were reporting that.

  15. admin
    May 23, 2016 / 9:58 am

    Haha!!! You should totally do that Elizabeth!
    It is dull, but it’s quite relaxing and the courses are always nice to walk around. I just get super angry when I play because I’m utterly terrible at it! 😉

  16. admin
    May 23, 2016 / 9:58 am

    I know, right?! Utter idiots.x

  17. admin
    May 23, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Bloody hell Georgie, no wonder he is your ex-husband…I’m not sure I could have put up with that either. You did very well to humour him!
    Totally, I don’t need to get angry at a little ball to enjoy myself…that’s what Gin and the garden are for!x
    Super response.x

  18. admin
    May 23, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Thanks Amy! It really made me cross, couldn’t help but have a rant! 😉

  19. May 26, 2016 / 6:36 am

    I always have this argument with my husband (who, I may add is currently on a ‘jolly’ golf trip for 5 days!) it’s 2016 and we still allow ‘rules’ like this in the UK – disgraceful!

  20. admin
    May 26, 2016 / 6:38 am

    Oh, Lara!! My best friends hubby has just got back from his golf jolly – they’ve no idea how lucky they are do they?! Do you get a ‘sleeping’ jolly for 5 days? Or a spa jolly in return?!
    I was really infuriated by it…but I got a bit of backlash on Twitter for having such an opinion x

  21. May 26, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    Even though I hate golf with every fibre of my being I am shocked and appalled by this. I personally would love to go on a “sleeping” jolly….I digress. I can’t believe it was so close and yet so far, surely this suggests that someone should make a stand?! A member? The only difference between male and female golf players is that the woman tee off a closer tee, but it’s said that women have natural golf form, men just have more power. OK off on a rambling tangent….also realised I didn’t actually add your link properly last week so have amended!!
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks recently posted…Why Dubai is a Wonderful Place for a Family Friendly HolidayMy Profile

  22. Craig
    June 12, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    I’m in favour of mixed clubs but that’s up to the club, Muirfield choose not to so that’s fair enough. Their club, their vote (by post or whatever, general elections are done like this) their decision. The days of G.O.L.F. (Gentlemen only, ladies forbidden) are long gone in general terms and I am a fan of female golf, professional and amateur as that is a standard I can maybe aspire to but sometimes men and women need their own time, my wife enjoys lunch with the girls while the lads have a round of golf (or the other way around) to have some mates time. Be content in the mind that they (Muirfield) have shot themselves in the foot losing the Open but have stuck to their traditions and how they want to run their club.
    PS Foursomes is two teams of two playing a ball each to win the hole between them, not four people taking it in turns with one ball, Muirfield members would scoffed at that one!

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