The decision by the Augusta National Golf Club in the US to finally allow women to become members has reopened the debate around equality in golf on this side of the Pond.
It might have taken 80 years, but former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has become one of the first females invited to join the Augusta club, which is among the most exclusive in the world.
In Scotland, the situation for women who would love to tee off on some of the most prestigious golf courses without needing an invitation from a male club member is not so encouraging. In fact, in the 21st century it is downright ridiculous, sexist and embarrassing.
East Lothian's Muirfield course will become a lightning rod for anger over this issue as it hosts the Open next year. Its membership policies are far from progressive, with club secretary Alastair Brown insisting that a ban on women gaining membership will continue, despite recent criticism including from deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman.
There is also the example of Professor Louise Richardson, the principal of St Andrews University, who was not offered membership of the Royal And Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews when she took up her post in 2009. Her two most recent predecessors, both male, were invited to be members.
This staunch determination to remain all-male prompted former prime minister Gordon Brown to call it an "unacceptable blot" on Scotland's traditions of "justice for all". Brown was right.
The dinosaurs who defend such discriminatory traditions might point out that women are still free to play on private courses at all-male clubs as guests. But this means they first have to wait to be invited by a man, which is hardly very modern, and can face restrictions on when they can tee-off as guests. Anything less than full equality in every walk of life for men and women in Scotland is unacceptable.
Other defenders of the all-male bastions might point out there are all-female golf clubs in existence. We should get rid of them too. Though we should also ask: when do the ladies' clubs get the honour of hosting major international tournaments like the all-male clubs?
It is difficult to see exactly what the problem is with allowing women to join the club of their choice – unless it is good old-fashioned boorish sexism. Scotland might be known as the home of golf, but in the eyes of the world the persistence of some clubs to cling on to discrimination in the name of tradition must seem odd – if not downright disgusting.
A decision by Muirfield to end the ban on female members ahead of the Open next year – without the need for further pressure or legislation – would go a long way to helping the sport shed its nasty image and ensure equality on the greens.
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