Pine Valley Golf Club allows female members after 108 years


For the past 108 years, the ultra-private Pine Valley Golf Club in Camden County, New Jersey has been for men only and does not allow female members.

While it’s great news that Pine Valley – home to the # 1 ranked golf course in the United States – voted late last month to allow female members and unrestricted women to play for the first time. , as reported Golf summary and Golf.com, it is a shame that the vote is truly worthwhile and that men’s golf clubs still exist in the land of freedom and justice for all.

But they do – and it’s completely legal.

Per piece in Illustrated sports explaining the legality of these potentially discriminating private golf clubs, the Burning Tree Club in Maryland, the Butler National Golf Club in Illinois and the Garden City Golf Club in New York have all refused membership in women because of their gender as recently as 2019. As history clearly shows, this practice is certainly legal, but it does not correct matters.

While some would say, and they certainly do, that a private club discriminating against women is not the same as discriminating against blacks or Jews, why bother to argue? It’s 2021, and if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all better off when people are educated fairly and, most importantly, equally. Now is the time to open the doors, not to close them.

“On a personal note, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and frankly it’s overdue,” wrote Pine Valley president Jim Davis in an emailed letter to members regarding the club opening. Women’s. “Several years ago I was playing golf on our Spring Members’ Weekend with our late colleague and friend Jack Vardaman. During the round we chatted about this and as we walked through the woods to our tee shots on the 15th hole Jack said something to me that I never forgot. He said, “Remember, we don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.” We’re not changing the things we love most about Pine Valley. We just continue to make our club more inclusive. We want to be proud of Pine Valley in every way, and I have no doubts that this change puts us on the right side of history.

Again, it’s really great that Pine Valley has decided to be on the right side of history after over 100 years. It’s just sad that this is something worth applauding in the 21st year of the 2000s.


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