I recently noticed a sign for the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto, on Yonge Street in Thornhill
I recently noticed a sign for the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto, on Yonge Street in Thornhill. I’ve never heard of a women-only golf club before. Is it a response to recently criticized men-only clubs like the Augusta National?—Roger Langfield, Etobicoke
The Ladies’, as it is informally known, predates the Augusta National by almost a decade. The private club was founded in 1924 by Ada Mackenzie, one of Canada’s great early competitive golfers, at a time when, as she put it, “women were supposed to know more about a cookstove than a niblick.” The fiery Mackenzie hawked shares in person and supervised construction on the course, then accessible only by radial railway. Today, the 600-plus-member club is an odd mix of feminism and über-traditionalism. Men are only allowed in as guests, while hawk-eyed staff, armed with tape measures, vet skirts and shorts of “questionable length.” If it sounds a bit unusual, it is: the Ladies’ is the only all-women golf club in North America.