Pensioner banned from two golf clubs over homophobic comments

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 26, 2015 12:13

A pensioner has been banned from two golf clubs in Dundee for a year after he made a comment to a female member of staff at one that has been judged as homophobic.

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While it has been said that discriminatory attitudes are prevalent in some golf clubs, it is thought this is the first time that anyone has been banned from a golf club for making a homophobic remark.

William Webster, 75, was talking to a female teenage greenkeeper at Caird Park Golf Club last September and, according to The Courier, asked her how she got on with another female member of staff at the club who is a lesbian and married to a woman.

According to the paper, when the girl stated she was aware of the situation, Mr Webster replied: “Well I hope there’s no tampering with you.”

Mr Webster stated he was visited at 10pm that evening by two police officers who advised him he was suspended from the golf course.

Mr Webster said: “I don’t have anything against homosexuals. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. It was a private conversation. I wasn’t intending to offend anyone. It was just a flippant remark.

“The next morning I phoned the golf membership office and asked for clarification. They advised that they had no knowledge of any suspension and I was free to play and someone would phone if it were different.

“That afternoon as me and my friends limped around the course we were approached by a man who said he was the golf manager investigating a complaint.”

Mr Webster was asked to repeat the conversation at Caird Park and was then asked to leave the course until an investigation was completed into his conduct.

Two weeks later he received a letter advising him the investigation was complete and he was excluded from using the course for 12 months.

Caird Park is run by Leisure and Culture Dundee, which also runs Camperdown Golf Club, which he is also not allowed to play at.

“I am a widower who lives on my own after my wife died,” he said. “The only thing I have in my life is golf. It gives me social contact and the exercise I need to combat my arterial disease and high blood pressure.”

A spokesman for Leisure and Culture Dundee said: “Our staff should not have to face abuse or intimidation of any kind when they are at work. We do not tolerate this sort of behaviour.”

A police spokesman said they were aware of an incident that was reported on September 1 in relation to inappropriate comments made at Caird Park Golf Course.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 26, 2015 12:13
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1 Comment

  1. pensioner pete January 29, 18:41

    Undoubtedly a silly old fool – who made the mistake of voicing abhorrent comments that should remain private thoughts in the darkest recesses of a decaying mind. The sort who does little to attract other people to take up the game and much to put them off. However banning him from playing seems pretty futile and unnecessarily punitive. It seems akin to banning a Tourette’s sufferer for swearing. With participation declining the numbers would fall off the chart if all the silly old fools with stupid and out dated views about race, women, sexuality etc. were banned from the golf course. If it would really lead to a massive take up of the game by, women, ethnic minorities and teenagers I would welcome him being excluded – but we know it won’t. Leave the old fool and his halfwit cronies on the fairways where they probably do least harm , except for the occasional slip up like this.

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