Cathkin Braes Golf Club in Glasgow has denied bigotry claims after a picture of the Queen was removed in their clubhouse lounge and replaced with a copy of the Mona Lisa.
According to the Herald Scotland, one golfer is said to have taken matters into his own hands by substituting Her Majesty's portrait with a print of the famous Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece.
Members of the club, founded in 1888, are said to have been in uproar after new captain Bill Mathie decided to put his stamp on the clubhouse lounge by hanging up a picture of the British sovereign.
The member's attempt to remove the picture, after dark, “with his head covered” were foiled after a probe by the club and it emerged he had used his own key fob to get into the lounge.
The new captain used the club’s newsletter to apologise “to those who were offended" by the picture of the Queen, which will not be re-instated.
"I spoke with some of the older members who thought that there used to be a portrait of the Queen in the lounge," he said.
"As many of you may know we toast the Queen at all our official dinners and I thought it seemed appropriate to have a focal point for our toasts.
"Regrettably a small number of members have been upset by the picture. It was never my intention to upset any of our members and so I can only apologise."
The incident has led to accusations of bigotry within the club, which has honed the careers of professional golfers such as Scott Jamieson, who plays on the European Tour.
One source said: “Several members of the club were unhappy with the picture being on the lounge wall. I am at a loss as to why this matter should be dealt with as leniently as it has, as it is evidently theft of club property.
“I feel that the club committee have taken the easy option in giving in to the few members who were offended and the individual who committed the theft.
“Unfortunately, it appears that this may come down to bigotry, which is palpable in the way this matter has been dealt with within the club.
“Cathkin Braes is a well-known and respected golf club with many prominent members, it saddens me that bigotry is finding a place in this institution, where it has no place here.”