Lady Golfer Columnist: Madeleine Winnett

Golf News

What has equality ever done for me?

Ok it’s official. I hate equality! What has equality ever done for me except leave an enormous hole in my wallet?

Take car insurance, for example. I was very happy with Sheila’s Wheels. I didn’t just choose them because I liked the catchy tune with the bouncy ball over the words to sing along to. It’s an inescapable fact (whatever the editor says!) women are better drivers than men.

We have fewer accidents, are therefore less of a liability to insure and should be entitled to cheaper payments. And I was – until equality waded in and decided I now have to pay the same as the spotty youth with his hole- ridden exhaust, doing drag-car racing starts from traffic lights and copying donuts from Top Gear in car parks, before driving through someone’s garden hedge at 3am, three sheets to the wind and as high as a kite.

Then there is my golf club membership. A couple of years ago I seem to remember paying something around £800, and this year it is an eye-watering £1,400 and something or other, complete with compulsory bar levy.

Before equality, I wasn’t allowed to play before 11.30am on Sundays, but personally, I can’t see why anyone wants to play before 11.30am on any day of the week, let alone a weekend That’s not funny. And what benefits do I get for now having to stand on a street
corners with a three-legged dog and a begging bowl? None. Not one!

Before equality, I wasn’t allowed to play before 11.30am on Sundays, but personally, I can’t see why anyone wants to play before 11.30am on any day of the week, let alone a weekend. Traditionally, Sunday is a rest day, and that suits me just fine. It gave me a perfectly legitimate excuse to lie in bed before playing in the alternative day competitions. Now I have to create excuses in order to avoid being dragged onto the tee at some ungodly hour by my playing partners who clearly don’t understand the need for sleep.

In the days when I was unequal but considerably wealthier, I used not to be able to play before 4pm on a Saturday in summer, and 2pm in winter.

Now that I am being asked to pay the same as the equivalent of training for a flight in space for the privilege of being able to play on Saturdays, I can’t get on the course anyway because there are so many men playing in their competition day, so I have gained nothing.

True, ladies can now go into the Oak Room – the former hallowed inner sanctum – but we don’t bother because the mixed bar is so much lighter, nicer and just appears to be more cheerful. Plus, we have sat there for so long, it is our habitual gathering place.

Equality also gave us CONGU, and don’t even get me started on that one! In fact, if you give us our old ladies’ handicap system back – the one where everyone enjoyed their golf and didn’t hate every person from the other division – I’d even happily pay my extra subs without moaning!

So, after all the things I dislike about equality, was I happy to learn about the first two women being invited to be members of Augusta? Well, quite frankly, yes.

Apart from anything else, it makes the stance by the R&A look very isolated. While they continue to refuse to admit women, and play their championship at clubs for men only, some will see them as an institution run by misogynist dinosaurs.

Next month: Madeleine continues her love affair with the Equality Act.

Madeleine Winnett:

Lady Golfer’s equipment expert is a member at Trentham, a Staffordshire county player and never short of a forthright opinion!

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