BBC show mocks single sex golf clubs25th November, 2013 by Emma Williams
A popular BBC satirical programme has mocked single sex golf clubs – especially ones that refuse to allow women to be their members.
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.