Equity Law Would End Restricted Membership in England

By Associated PressJune 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
LONDON -- A new law proposed by Britain's government Tuesday would guarantee female club members the same access as men, spelling an end to discrimination on British golf courses and restricted membership at exclusive clubs that cater to some of the country's leading politicians.
 
The Single Equality Bill is an attempt to consolidate Britain's web of discrimination laws, spread over nine major pieces of legislation instituted over the past 40 years. It also provides additional protection to disabled tenants, elderly credit card holders and breast-feeding mothers.
 
'Laws have been introduced in a piecemeal fashion and have as a result become overlapping and less clear,' Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly said in a statement. 'We (had) this review to ensure the laws which govern how people are treated in their everyday lives are as clear and effective as possible.'
 
Discrimination on the grounds of race and gender was outlawed in the 1970s. Protection was extended to the disabled in the 1990s, and, more recently, to sexual orientation and religious belief.
 
The step-by-step nature of the legislation has left gaps and inconsistencies in the level of protection, said Tufyal Choudhury, chairman of the Discrimination Law Association.
 
Religious discrimination, for example, was until recently only prohibited in employment -- while it has long been illegal to discriminate on racial grounds in certain kinds of businesses.
 
Although the bill is aimed at consolidating existing legislation, it also covers new ground, factoring in private golf and social clubs that offer women only restricted membership. Among the most notable is London's Carlton Club, a high-class hangout for conservative politicians.
 
Established in 1832, the club has admitted women as 'associate members' since 1977 -- meaning they pay no entry fee, but cannot knock back cocktails at the members' bar or vote in general meetings. Mary Sharp, the club's assistant secretary and a nonmember, said the rules were written 'donkey's years ago' and that many in the club would welcome the change.
 
Similar arrangements at some golf clubs -- where women are restricted to playing certain days or barred from the clubhouse -- would also be made obsolete.
 
The rules would not, however, cover clubs that cater exclusively to men or women, such as White's, in London, which counts opposition leader David Cameron as a member. The bill was about tackling unequal treatment rather than forcing men and women to mix, said a spokesman for Britain's communities department who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with the agency's policies.
 
Sex, age and disability discrimination also are addressed by the bill. Under the proposed rules, disabled tenants gain the right to force their landlords to make adjustments to the common areas of rented properties -- such as stairs, hallways and entrances -- while elderly citizens cannot be denied loans or store credit cards on the grounds of age. Another rule would guarantee women the right to breastfeed in public.
 
Britain's ruling Labour party has made the rationalization of the country's discrimination law one of its priorities, and is working to combine the country's Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality into a single body by the end of this year.
 
The bill published Tuesday is being made available for a period of consultation, during which time the public and interest groups can give their input. A draft version of the bill is expected later this year or next.
 
At the Gay Hill Golf Club in central England -- the subject of a media storm seven years ago over its refusal to allow a female golfer to sit at the bar -- Michael Endall, the chairman, said it was time to move on.
 
He said the club now allows all members to socialize over drinks, and women can now serve on the club's board.
 
'We're in the year 2007.' Endall said. 'It's time that everyone understood it.'
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

"The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

"You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

"But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."