RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club

The Loop

St. Andrews University president on the R&A Golf Club

March 10, 2009

St. Andrews University president Louise Richardson, unlike her predecessors, has not been offered membership into the all-men's Royal & Ancient Golf Club, which has triggered a controversy she addressed in this Scotsman story.

"I have been surprised since I've got here at the amount of attention that has been placed on this issue, because I came here to run a university, which I fully anticipate will keep me busy.

"Just for the record, I have never said I don't play golf, but I don't anticipate having three free hours any time soon (to play a game]...I understand people's desire to want to surround themselves with people like themselves; we all do that when we go out with our friends.

"Where it becomes a broader problem, it seems to me, is when that group of people have access to a unique set of privileges from which others are excluded at birth. That, I think, is a bigger issue, and that's my perspective on private clubs generally.

"I understand why it's been a story, and I have been pleased at the positions people have taken and the support I have received on this issue."

-- John Strege