Pine Valley, the uber-exclusive golf club in South Jersey, is going to become a little less exclusive with the announcement that will start allowing female members to join. Previously, it had been men only.

According to Golf Digest, an email was sent to members to notify them of the change.

“This evening at our Annual Meeting of the Members we made a historic change to Pine Valley’s bylaws,” wrote club president Jim Davis. “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.”

Golf Digest and Golf Magazine have both named Pine Valley as the #1 golf course in America multiple times. Membership is invitation only and the membership list is a closely guarded secret; non-members can only play at the invitation of a member and they have to play the round with a member.

Up until the recent announcement, womenn were only allowed on the course on Sunday afternoons. According to the Press of Atlantic City, the waiting list for people who have been invited to become members stretches for years.

Also, hats are not allowed in the clubhouse. Cell phones are not permitted on the golf course. There is also a no-tipping policy.

The club was founded in 1913 by a group of Philadelphia golfers. The course is in Camden County, not far from the Clementon Amusement Park. It was designed by George Arthur Crump, a Philadelphia hotel owner.

According to the club, female candidates are being reviewed with the first of them admitted by the end of the year.

In the email ,the board said, “As has been our custom, all prospective candidates must be socially compatible, share a deep passion for the game of golf, and be able to play the golf course with the skill level our founder George Crump intended.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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