President of New Jersey club, which reigns as No. 1 golf course in magazines’ rankings, says move puts club ‘on right side of history’
Committed: To ending its century-old tradition of male-only membership, Pine Valley (N.J.) Golf Club, according to reports in Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. Both news outlets, which employ club members, cited an emailed letter that was sent April 30 to the Pine Valley membership. In his letter to the members, club president Jim Davis called the move “overdue” in reporting that the club’s trustees and members “voted unanimously and with enthusiasm to remove all gender-specific language from our bylaws.” There was no indication as to why the club opted for change now. Female guests had been permitted to play Pine Valley only on Sunday afternoons. “We are simply continuing down the path of making our club more inclusive,” Davis wrote. “We want to be proud of Pine Valley in all respects, and I am convinced this change puts us on the right side of history.” The news regarding Pine Valley, which is regarded by many ratings services as the top private golf course in the nation, follows changes in recent years at Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland and Augusta National in Georgia to allow female members. Muirfield is part of the rotation to host the British Open, and Augusta National is the site of the annual Masters Tournament. Pine Valley does not host tournaments of such stature and thus does not invite the sort of public scrutiny that had surrounded Muirfield and Augusta National in recent years. However, Pine Valley, a 1918 design by George Crump and Harry Colt located about 20 minutes south of Philadelphia, in southern New Jersey, hosts the annual Crump Cup mid-amateur event and is a former Walker Cup site. Golf Digest rates Pine Valley at No. 1 in its “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” ranking, and Golf Magazine rates it No. 1 in its “Top 100 Courses in the World” list.
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