Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Strange golf news - Elaine Joyce sues public club for men's only event


Elaine Joyce, a champion amateur golfer, and her father were looking forward to a weekend tournament last May at the respected public course on Cape Cod where they hold full memberships. But their names were not listed when officials posted the tee times for the event at the Dennis Pines course.

Joyce’s father, Pat, received a call from the club’s head pro, Russell Champoux, who said the tournament was not open to women. It did not matter that Joyce would play from the men’s tees. Or that she had won more than 20 club championships over the years. Or that she had captured the title in 2001 at an event for the state’s top female club champions.

Joyce complained to the town, but over the next several months, Robert Canevazzi, the Dennis town administrator, did not budge. When Joyce filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in July, the club said its actions were not discriminatory. In a letter, Canevazzi told Joyce that the club would begin scheduling men’s and women’s fields in all tournaments in 2008, giving women more weekend play. The club’s lawyer, Kristin Tyler Harris, reiterated the position. But women would not be permitted to play in men’s tournaments.

On Friday, Joyce, 43, filed a federal lawsuit in United States District Court in Boston to challenge the town and the golf officials. Her case confronts the tradition of men’s tournaments on morning weekends, events that are woven into the fabric of golf life at private and public courses...

Read the complete strange golf story

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