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Pine Valley Golf Club Announces It Will Allow Women as Members for 1st Time

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMay 1, 2021

Pornanong Phatlum places a marker on the third green in place of her pink ball during the third round of the LPGA's Hugel-Air Premia LA Open golf tournament at Wilshire Country Club Friday, April 23, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The iconic Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey will allow women to become members for the first time in its 108-year history.

The club announced the news to its members Friday, per Stephen Hennessey of Golf Digest. 

"The future of golf must move toward inclusion, and I am pleased to report that the Trustees and members of the Pine Valley Golf Club have voted unanimously and with enthusiasm to remove all gender-specific language from our bylaws," read a letter penned by club president Jim Davis. 

Women were previously allowed to book tee times on Sunday afternoons. Now, the southern New Jersey club will begin a search for qualified members in an effort to have the first group of women in place by the end of the year. 

“We are not changing the things we love most about Pine Valley," Davis wrote. "We are simply continuing down the path of making our Club more inclusive. We want to be proud of Pine Valley in all respects, and I'm convinced this change puts us on the right side of history." 

Golf Digest ranked Pine Valley as the top course in the country as well as the top course in its "challenge" category. Founded in 1913, the course is spread out across 600 acres of land. 

Several other courses have recently lifted similar restrictions. Augusta National began allowing female members in 2012, while The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews—home of the Open Championship—lifted its restriction on female membership in 2014. 

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There are 3,670 private golf clubs in the United States, with Hennessey reporting that under a dozen still don't allow women to become members.