The natural reaction to hearing that Muirfield has voted to allow female members is to ask how big an influence on the vote was getting back into the British Open rotation and will women be accepted begrudgingly? The same holds true for the Kasumigaseki Country Club should it relent and allow female membership to ensure that it will be the golf venue for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. A decision on that controversy is expected soon, but assuming for the moment that Kasumigaseki does go with female members – given its resistance in the past, and the same applies to Muirfield – how warmly will women be welcomed? That will depend on each individual exclusive club and their respective memberships, so time will tell, but for most golf clubs, women’s influence on consumer purchasing and other members of their families is something that any business ignores at its own peril, according to this story and this one from Forbes … We’re hearing and reading quite a bit about the King from this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and rightfully so since this is the first playing without him, but there isn’t as much in the media about the 13 women who started the LPGA back in 1950. Three of them – Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge – will be at this week’s Founders Cup in Phoenix, where Spork, 89, will play in Wednesday’s pro-am … Every so often, a company goes beyond self-promotion in a commercial and just does something positive and how can you go wrong with the legacy of Arnold Palmer? Good on you MasterCard
Remember all the fuss in the golf media about the CBC documentary Dad and the Dandelions about the pesticide issue between the industry and environmentalists? It’s not quite two weeks since it aired and how much fallout have you heard, making the National Allied Golf Associations/Canadian Golf Superintendents Association decision to stay somewhat muted in its reaction a prudent one. It quickly became yesterday’s news … Jared du Toit of Kimberley, B.C., continued his hot hand in collegiate play with Arizona State last week, recording a hole in one and tying for third at six under after three rounds, one shot off the winning score at the Southern Highlands Collegiate in Las Vegas … The PGA of Alberta recognized Pierre Beauchemin, Terry Carter, Bill Forshner, Robert MacDonald, Blair McDowell, Brian Miller and Brian Kollman at its recent annual general meeting for reaching the 25-year mark as Class A members of the PGA of Canada … The Graham and Ruby DeLaet Foundation has announced the return of its Graham Slam charity golf event, as well as the addition of the DeLaet Cup, a new junior golf initiative attached to the event. The Graham Slam, which has raised over $1-million for various charities, will kick off the week on Monday, June 12, followed by the DeLaet Cup from Tuesday, June 13 to Thursday, June 15. Both tournaments will be held at Riverside Country Club in Saskatoon, Sask. “Ruby and I are so happy to once again be back in Saskatchewan to raise money for local charities,” said DeLaet. “The incorporation of the DeLaet Cup this year will be an exciting and memorable opportunity for these junior players from all parts of Canada.” The DeLaet Cup, operated in conjunction with the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA), will see qualifiers take place across Canada prior to the final event, with 24 junior golfers gaining the opportunity to compete in the tournament. Qualifiers will produce 12 juniors from the east and west coming together in Saskatchewan to play a Ryder Cup style match. For information on the qualifiers, click here … This week’s GNN Poll asks if a rolled-back golf ball with less distance a realistic concept on tour. As of this writing, 59 per cent of respondents voted yes, with 41 per cent saying no. You can cast your vote on the GNN home page.