Woman In Golf Club Equality Row Over Men-Only Tee Times

Lowri Roberts says she is being discriminated against by her golf club over men-only tee times on Saturday mornings

Men-Only Tee Times

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."

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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."

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


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