Golfing doctor finds earring a handicap

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A doctor has been expelled by his golf club in a row over a silver earring. Dr Stephen Glascoe, 46, yesterday said he was baffled by the expulsion, claiming he had worn an earring for more than 20 years without anyone objecting.

Officials of The Ridgeway Golf Course, near Caerphilly, South Wales, told him his earring was judged unacceptable by fellow golfers on the nine-hole course.

"I was told that I would have to remove my earring if I wanted to continue as a member," said the doctor, who plays off an 18 handicap. "I cannot understand why I am being banned now, because I had even played some competitions at The Ridgeway without anyone mentioning it. My earring has never been a problem at other courses ... I've worn an earring since I started work in 1976.

"When Tiger Woods won the US Masters, a lot of people hoped it would help end the image of golf as a sport riven with snobbery and prejudice. This shows there's still a long way to go". Dr Glascoe (above), who has a surgery at Canton, Cardiff, joined the club last November but, following his expulsion, has received a refund for the remaining five months of his subscription.

Friends of the GP confirmed he regularly wore the single ring in his left ear. Said one: "Steve also wears it when he gives college lectures and the authorities there have never remarked about it."

Larry Baynton, club captain at the Ridgeway, said Dr Glascoe had been the only member to refuse to abide by the club's dress code. "The other men who wear earrings have agreed to remove them when they are playing."

Mr Baynton said the decision had been taken by the committee representing the club's 200 members. Female golfers were not affected because earrings were considered "a natural dress code for women".