Pine Valley Golf Club, citing the urge to be “on the right side of history,” voted Friday to begin accepting women members, according to a report.

The very private Pine Valley in New Jersey is the No. 1-ranked course on Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list for layouts built before 1960, and it is the highest-rated courses in all of Golfweek’s Best database for courses around the world. Pine Valley was designed by George Crump and Harry S. Colt and opened in 1914 as an 11-hole layout that was completed several years later.

Golf.com reported that the club notified members via email that at an annual meeting of trustees and members, the club voted to remove all gender-specific language from its bylaws.

Previously, women had limited playing opportunities, allowed to play only on Sunday afternoons. That has changed, and the first tee will be open to women without restrictions.

Pine Valley Golf Club is considered among the best courses in the country

Pine Valley Golf Club is the highest-rated Classic Course in the United States. (Jim Walsh, Courier-Post)

Club president Jim Davis wrote to members that “The future of golf must move toward inclusion and I am pleased to report that the Trustees and members of Pine Valley Golf Club voted unanimously and with enthusiasm to remove all gender-specific language from our bylaws.”

The club expects to have its first women members by the end of the year, according to the report.

Private golf clubs in the United States are allowed to discriminate based on sex, but most have changed their bylaws to allow women. Augusta National Golf Club, for example, opened its membership to women in 2012 – Augusta was No. 3 on Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list for 2020 and is the home annually of the Masters Tournament.



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