R & A feeling heat over men-only policy at Muirfield

Tiger Woods (left) and Fred Couples stand on the 18th fairway during a practice round ahead of the...

Tiger Woods (left) and Fred Couples stand on the 18th fairway during a practice round ahead of the British Open at Muirfield in Scotland July 17, 2013. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:18 PM ET

The weather here on the east coast of Scotland has been spectacular, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a dark cloud over the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, which oversees the game on this side of the pond and most of the world, and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which calls Muirfield home.

Muirfield does not allow women to become members and, while that is its right, it doesn’t mean it’s defensible for an organization that hosts the world’s biggest tournament at a time when the game’s participation is flatlining and most of the golf community is trying to be more inclusionary, not less.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson faced a grilling over the issue Wednesday on the eve of the 142nd British Open, but wasn’t backing down on the R&A’s position of continuing to stage the tournament at clubs with discriminatory membership policies.


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