BBC show mocks single sex golf clubs

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams November 25, 2013 10:37

BBC show mocks single sex golf clubs

A popular BBC satirical programme has mocked single sex golf clubs – especially ones that refuse to allow women to be their members.


The BBC show mocked single sex golf clubs such as Royal St. George’s in Kent

The BAFTA-winning The Revolution Will Be Televised sent its two presenters to a golf club, in which they posed as Dutch broadcasters who believed the men-only policy had a sexual connotation attached to it.

The BBC Three programme usually involves its two stars, Jolyon Rubinstein and Heydon Prowse, performing pranks on politicians and multinational companies in a bid to highlight perceived hypocritical, unethical and / or tax avoiding policies.

However, the November 24 broadcast saw a segment devoted to single sex clubs, which was dominated by golf.

It began with the announcement: “In July the British golf Open was held at Muirfield, which requires more than a pair of golf balls to be a member. Is it really gentlemanly to exclude half the population as members of these clubs?”

This was followed by Rubinstein and Prowse visiting Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent, a men-only club that hosted the Open in 2011. The duo posed as two Dutch television presenters who made a series of crude remarks in the clubhouse, before they were met by an employee of the club who did not wish to be identified. He advised them that it was a private club and asked them to leave.

The two also visited several London men-only clubs, such as White’s Gentleman’s Club, Boodle’s Gentleman’s Club, Pratt’s Gentleman’s Club and The Garrick, asking questions such as ‘can we bring women in if they are pets?’

The broadcast comes at the end of a difficult year for the small amount of golf clubs that refuse to allow people to join based on their gender.

At the start of the year two government ministers suggested that single sex golf clubs should no longer be allowed to host Open Championships, while the media coverage of the build-up to this year’s Open was dominated by the issue and Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, boycotted the event. Prime minister David Cameron said the policies “look more to the past than to the future”.

Earlier this month, the men-only Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh, the oldest golfing society in the world, revealed that it has had an ‘informal meeting’ about ending the policy.


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams November 25, 2013 10:37
  • BBC show mocks single sex golf clubs » Golf Club Management

  • BBC show mocks single sex golf clubs » Golf Club Management

  • Golf Club Management noticed when we passed by:

  • CVT

    Both the presenters have tweeted about this story.

    Their views reflect what society , golfers and non golfers, think of these moronic single sex clubs,. Our golf club laughs at the likes of Royal St Georges but worries that their policy also hurts the industry.

    Why does the average golf club have less than 3 girls as members when in Sweden its about 50? Even in America its about 10. I have heard several women say ‘golf looks like fun but I won’t start playing as I don’t want a civil rights battle’ when I invite them to try the game at my club

    Its time the government saw through on its threats – strip the royal and ancient of its power to choose Open venues. Give it to the Home Unions

  • Former club captain

    These are private clubs and can do as they wish.

    If my club said ‘we are having a vote on not allowing an ethnic minority to join’ I would join in the debate and passionately argue against the policy.

    But it is up to the members to decide what they want. Those that do not like the poicy if it comes in can then decide to leave if they wish. For me, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but its a private club and thats how it works

  • Jack

    More bread and circuses from the interregnum.

  • Christopher Spencer

    I see they did not mock the female single sex golf clubs….surely some discrimination in that!

  • BBC show mocks single sex golf clubs » Golf Club Management

  • Matthew Orwin

    The whole issue, whether it’s right or wrong, has been handled terribly by the UK golfing establishment. And sadly, there aren’t many people left in the industry who’d have expected anything different. MESSAGE TO PETER DAWSON & CO – you can have male-only clubs but for the love of God employ the services of a decent PR agency to communicate and manage the message. You’re causing untold harm to the industry not doing so.

  • Wally Shinley

    You cant compare women’s golf clubs with men’s.

    Women’s clubs fall into two categories – they either allow men to join or are part of a men’s club that the men have set up to keep the women away.

    That’s not the case at Muirfield etc.