[to top of second column]
"The R&A hope golf will become a sport in the Olympics, which upholds equality and fairness," said Baker, who has written to International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge seeking its policy on single-sex membership. "Now it is linked with a golf club that has exclusively male members.
"I just think it's chauvinistic, it's old fashioned. It needs to take a different approach and become part of a modern Scotland."
Organizers of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics wanted to add golf to their program and play it at Augusta National. But that proposal failed when some IOC members and others criticized the club's all-male membership, along with the fact it had only recently taken a black member.
Now the R&A has teamed up with the PGA, the LPGA and golf's national and international organizations to push for golf to enter the Olympics, possibly in 2016. Baker says that, unless it persuades the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to allow women members, it is in effect letting the coalition down.
Asked by the AP for a comment, the R&A said it would talk to Baker in the near future.
"We are meeting with Claire Baker in St. Andrews later this month and will listen carefully to her views on gender equality in golf clubs," the R&A said in a statement.
"Our founding club, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, exists to provide services to its members. The R&A was legally separated from the club in 2004 and uses its worldwide influence and funds derived from the commercial success of The Open Championship to support the development of women's and men's golf on every continent."
Baker acknowledges that it appears Richardson, who declined an interview request, doesn't appear to be very interested in golf.
"That's not the point," she said. "The Royal and Ancient Golf Club has links to the R&A and the golf club has a male-only membership. It's an iconic golf club ... it's what a lot of people come to Scotland for."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor