Pine Valley Golf Club, long held in high esteem in the golf community for its architectural features and stern test to high-end players, is set to break from tradition and allow women members for the first time while also striking all restrictions among women golfers currently in place.
Both the Golf Magazine and Golf Digest websites reported that an email from club president Jim Davis was sent to members on Friday evening after an annual meeting of trustees and members saying that the club had made a “historic change.”
“The future of golf must move toward inclusion,” Davis wrote in the email. “And I am pleased to report that the trustees and members of the Pine Valley Golf Club voted unanimously and with enthusiasm to remove all gender-specific language from our bylaws.”
Davis said the club would immediately begin the search for qualified women members with the hopes of having its first in place by the end of the year.
“We are simply continuing down the path of making our club more inclusive,” Davis wrote. “We want to be proud of Pine Valley in all respects, and I am convinced this change puts us on the right side of history.”
Pine Valley, located on the New Jersey side of Philadelphia in the town of Clementon, has long been at or near the top of various golf rankings. Golf Magazine has had it ranked as its No. 1 course in the world numerous times since 1985. Golf Digest has seen it trade places among U.S. courses with Augusta National.
It was conceived by Philadelphia hotelier George Crump, who began work on the course in 1912 but died before its opening in 1919.