Maybe my meds are not kicking in, but I thought this issue was settled: women compete with women and men compete with men!

   Who has a problem with that other than Elaine Joyce?

   Please fast-forward to politically-correct gibberish strewn by Mr. Geary if you think your local men’s club championship tournament should allow women. Just the thought makes my blood boil! Its even worse than a four-putt green!

   First, this argument has nothing to do with the precedent court case against Haverhill Country Club filed in 1995 by nine women who claimed the club systemically discriminated against a group of female golfers. A jury in 1999 awarded $1.9 million  in damages to the women, nearly all of them spouses of members, who accused the club of sex discrimination for denying them full membership and equal access to the golf course.  

 Get over it ladies! The answer is a resounding no! Women are not going to play in the men’s club championship under any circumstances. Chill out and go buy a golf lesson instead of a $300 Gucci pocketbook! Leave us alone and let us play man-to-man in our own golf tournaments, with our own rules and among players of our own sex! Butt out!

   Now, along comes Elaine Joyce, a 3-handicap with 22 women’s club championships, who wants to tee it up with the men sometimes. She said she wants to play in men’s tournaments for the challenge of competing against better players. Who does she think she is – Michelle Wie?

  Some call her a pioneer; I call her a trouble-maker. When we spoke on May 26, the feisty, 44-year old software engineer, did not regret her long, arduous decision to sue the town of Dennis. She now awaits a jury trial that could pay her anywhere from $75,000 to $500,000 in damages and legal fees.

Joyce said she played in the 2004 men’s club championship at Bayberry Hills GC (Yarmouth) and finished in the top-20. She said Dennis Pines has “lied” in several news reports since the decision and that the club still has not clearly established the policy for women playing in men’s designated tournaments. Also, Joyce did not say why has not entered any men-only events since she was rejected in spring 2007.

  Although Joyce brought this issue on herself, she said she has been the target of wrath from Dennis Pines members and taxpayers, who might have to pay damages from the lawsuit. Although she claims a town insurance policy will pay the financial settlement, she refuses to say what she will do with the windfall. She has never been a member at a private course and said she has no intention of joining one.

  “I am happy with the decision and I’m happy the town will not appeal,” she said. “Some staff and members have shunned me, criticized me, harassed me and a ranger has chased me around for four hours at a member-guest. I hope closure will come when a jury decides the monetary damages.”

  Dennis Pines has stated that they changed the rules to allow women to play in men’s tournaments several months before Joyce sued in the fall of 2007.

  It’s going to take more than someone lacing my diet Coke with ExLax to conclude that Elaine Joyce is the victim of discrimination. Women should compete with women and men should compete with men, whether it be golf, high-jumping, badminton, soccer or whatever. Case closed. I hope the jury awards her $1.00.

  Before chanting in unison “male, chauvinist, pig” here’s some positive vibes and a glimpse of a profile of today’s women golfers from Debbie O’Connell, LPGA and Vice President of Ladies Links for Golf. There are 6.6 million women playing at least three rounds of golf per year and 24% of all golfers are women. The fastest growing segment of women golfers are age 39-49. Women over 60 average 30-plus rounds of golf per year and spend more dollars on golf. Women will spend some $125 billion on travel/leisure in the next year. Serious women golfers, playing 12 times or more per year, make $100,000-plus. About 58% women utilize the Internet to look up golf courses and directions, and 55% go to the Internet to price out equipment. There are 49% who get weather information to determine if it will interfere with their golf. About 42% schedule tee times online.

   Until next month…keep it in the short grass. We might address whether women should pay reduced green fees because the courses they play are shorter!


  (Tom Gorman, a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, International Network of Golf and Golf Travel Writers of America, is a Boston-based freelance golf writer.)