GOLF clubs in Bendigo say there is not a problem with gender equality in their organisations despite national concerns women and girls are being excluded from the sport.
"We encourage men, ladies, boys and girls to participate," Bendigo Golf Club President Andrew Johnston said. "It's always been that way.
"We dedicate two days a week - Tuesdays and Thursdays - to be ladies only.
"In our history, ladies prefer to have their own days and we have continued to accommodate that.
"But there are no restrictions on men or women playing."
Golf Australia warned clubs across the country they could face legal action if they don't provide equal access to their courses for women and girls.
Golf Australia and the Human Rights Commission have released a new set of guidelines around gender equality.
They included a checklist on issues like whether women and men received the same prizes or prizes of equal value, or whether women were able to be on the club's board.
“This is an opportunity for clubs to revisit their policies and practices to make sure they are not only complying with the Sex Discrimination Act, but meeting reasonable community and legal expectations of equality and fairness,” Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said.
“In some cases for example, women and girls are only able to access the course during limited time slots and can’t book their games as far in advance as men and boys.
"This raises questions about discrimination on the basis of sex."
Golf Australia regional development officer Dean Dixon said the organisation had a new strategy to increase the involvement of women and minority groups.
"At most clubs, the ration is 80 men to every 20 women," he said.
"We're just trying to offer new ways for women to be involved.
"For example, typically women's golf is on a Tuesday or Wednesday but we're trying to introduce competitions where men and women can play all together on a Saturday."
Mr Dixon, who is also a teaching pro at the Neangar Park Golf Club, said there were promising signs for the next generation of golfers.
"It's still early days," he said. "I work with juniors and there are currently only four girls out of 22 students, which is a couple more than previous years.
"But hopefully they can stay with the game."
Mr Johnston said Bendigo Golf Club was also trying to increase their female participation numbers.
"There has been a gradual decline in participation over the last 20 years," he said.
"But it has been worldwide.
'We are continuing to try and improve our course to make it more open to everyone. We certainly encourage all ladies who are interested in the sport to come and have a go."
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