Female Golfer Awarded $15K In Lawsuit Against Dennis Club

DENNIS (CBS) – As an amateur champ, golfer Elaine Joyce has won more than her share on the course. Now, she’s a winner in the courtroom.

Even though she won her gender discrimination suit against the town of Dennis for barring her from a tournament, she says she’s paying a price.

“I love to play golf and I love this course, so I am going to be here because I’m not going to give into their discriminatory practices,” said Joyce.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports.

But for Joyce, her days on the links have been everything but relaxing. In 2007, she filed a federal discrimination suit against the Dennis Pines Golf Course because she says she was denied a chance to play in a men’s members tournament along side her dad.

“I wasn’t allowed to play because I was a woman,” said Joyce. “That made me feel frustrated, angry…just demoralizing.”

She was recently awarded $15,000 by a jury. Her attorney was asking for a lot more than that.

“I am disappointed with the amount,” said Joyce. “I think it’s a slap in the wrist and it’s insulting.”

The club says the case should have never gone to trial.

“The club was willing to do what she wanted. The club was perfectly willing to let her play in any tournament that she wanted,” said Leonard Keston, the club’s attorney. “The only reason it went to trial is to see how much money she would get. That’s the only reason. She wanted $500,000. We offered $35,000. She wanted a trial because she was hoping to get a lot more than that and she didn’t. She got less.”

Since the lawsuit, Joyce says she feel she’s been ostracized from members of the club, both men and women who feel she may have taken this whole thing too far. But, this has not changed her love for the game, just how she plays it.

“I get shunned, ostracized. People don’t want to play with me or talk to me. Yeah, it’s miserable,” said Joyce.

“Would you be liked after they have given you everything you wanted and tried to talk to you, and you put them into the press as sexiest pigs? That’s what she did,” said Keston.

Joyce hasn’t played in any tournaments since the lawsuit. Most of the time, she plays by herself.

“It makes me feel completely alone in this. This wasn’t about putting money in my pocket. This was about stopping a discriminatory practice against all women up here,” said Joyce.

Joyce said that even though she doesn’t like the way she’s being treated at Dennis Pines, she intends to keep playing there.


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