All-White St. Louis Club Withdraws as PGA Site
The Old Warson Country Club has withdrawn itself from consideration as the site for a PGA seniors’ golf tournament because it refused to set a timetable for recruiting black members.
The club, which has no black or Jewish members, was scheduled to host the Southwestern Bell Classic in June, 1991. But the PGA Tour requires that clubs take active steps toward integrating their memberships.
Old Warson President Greg Nooney Jr. said Wednesday that the club’s board decided at a meeting Tuesday night they will not accelerate minority membership applicants ahead of a “big backlog” of other applicants.
“We don’t feel we can guarantee any proposed time schedule,” Nooney said. He repeated previous statements that the club does not discriminate against minorities in its by-laws.
Gray Kerrick, a spokesman for Southwestern Bell, said the company is evaluating options. The Country Club at the Legends, a nearby club that has about 10 black members, said it contacted Bell about possibly moving the event there.
The PGA recently issued rules requiring tournament sites to recruit minorities and eliminate any discrimination. Tour events came under scrutiny after this summer’s PGA championship in Birmingham, Ala.