Wait, what? There was a time when women weren’t allowed to play golf? It sounds preposterous. The game as we know it was less than 100 years old when Mary Queen of Scots, an avid golfer, coined the term “caddie.” The famous St. Andrews golf course was built during her reign. Yet the clubhouse at St. Andrews didn’t allow women until… wait for it… 2014.
How could golf clubs exclude women for so long?
Women have been involved in golf from very near the beginning. Yet golf clubs have segregated or even excluded women for almost that long. St. Andrew’s has allowed women on the course for a long time. In fact, the Ladies Club of St. Andrews was formed in 1867. It is the oldest women’s golf club.
In contrast, Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters tournament, ended an all-male policy in August of 2012. The first two women admitted were former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and financier Darla Moore.
This is shocking. Especially considering women have been competing in golf matches since at least 1895. The Ladies’ Professional Golf Association—LPGA—was formed in 1950 to popularize the sport among women. Eventually, professional women golfers began to earn enough playing golf to make a career of it. By the time Augusta admitted its first women, LPGA tour members were able to compete in 25 official money events in 11 countries.
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