Sexism at Royal St George's golf club in Sandwich means it shouldn't stage The Open: Robertson
The second tee at Royal
The Open Championship shouldn't be staged at a prestigious Kent
golf club until its sexist rules are scrapped.
That's according to Kent MP Hugh Robertson, who has
controversially declared clubs like Sandwich's Royal St George's
Golf Club should not have the right to host the competition -
because it doesn't allow full women's membership.
Royal St George's, which has hosted the championship 14 times
including last year, has not commented on the row.
But Mr Robertson - government Minister for Sport and Faversham
MP - said it put a "different slant" on matters when private clubs
staged such high-profile public events.
He said it was fine for private clubs to have men-only
membership, but he added: “I believe that when a private club
fulfils a public function, such as staging a major event, then
there is a different slant.”
When asked whether he thinks men-only clubs should
host The Open, he replied: “In all honesty, no. I think this issue
should be addressed.”
The club claims to be women-friendly and welcomes females
in the clubhouse and to play within allotted times.
The Curtis Cup - the best known team trophy for women amateur
golfers - has also been played there.
But in Deal Mr Robertson has come under fire from hotelier
Ian Dunkerley for threatening the economic boost the Open brings to
He said: “He should keep his nose out when it affects the
economy of the South East.
“I believe he is talking out of his office.”
As captain at Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club, Mr Dunkerley
disagrees with all-male clubs but he said The Open is such a
positive force on the area that the minister’s voice is “out of
context”, considering the benefits it brings to so many.
The selection of future venues for The Open is made by the Royal
& Ancient (R&A). The R&A did not wish to comment.
Last year, The Open was reported to bring 180,000 into Kent for
the four-day event, with many businesses profiting and residents
making a buck by letting out their houses to golfers and
- Click here for more news from across the county...