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Friday 9 December 2016

With golf in decline, it doesn't need sexist comments like these from Peter Alliss

Peter Aliss
Peter Aliss

If you play golf, you'll know the term 'nice putt Alice' or 'hit it Alice'. It's when someone leaves a putt just short of the hole.

You might have thought it was sexist; that it's from the same stable as 'you throw like a girl'. But actually it's not a sexist put down at all.

Alice is actually Alliss - as in Peter Alliss, the golf commentator.

The story goes that Peter Allis was playing Arnold Palmer in the 1963 Ryder Cup. It was a singles game and Alliss missed an easy three-foot putt. Someone in the gallery shouted out 'nice putt Alliss' and so the term became associated with wimpy putting.

So not sexist then. But Peter Alliss did become embroiled in a sexist controversy this week (yes, another one) when, as Zach Johnson was about to make the putt to win the Open on Monday, he saw the golfer's wife Kim on camera and said: "She's probably thinking - 'if this goes in I get a new kitchen.'"

contrast

Nothing like a bit of casual sexism in a mellifluous voice to handily disabuse you of the notion that women's rights are on a par with men's.

Alliss' comments were in direct contrast to how Johnson himself described his wife. He said she was the "CEO" of his golf career.

It's not the first time the octogenarian has offended. In April, he claimed that attempts to give women equal rights in golf have "caused mayhem".

Commentators might do well to remember that if you have nothing intelligent to say, don't talk simply for the sake of saying something or anything.

And at a time when golf has a huge problem in terms of declining numbers, it seems to me that some of the old, white, middle-class and middle-aged buffers really need to get their equality and inclusivity metres calibrated.

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