The Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews, exclusively for men since it was founded 260 years ago, will vote in September on whether women can join the club.
A statement from club said that all committees were “strongly in favour of the rule change” and asked members to go along. The move was greeted by British sports minister Helen Grant, who was hopeful a favorable vote would encourage other single-sex golf clubs to follow suit.
A Statement from The R & A said the vote would have no bearing on whether the British Open is played on links courses that exclude women as members, such as Royal St. George’s, Royal Troon and Muirfield. The Open returns to Troon in 2016.
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has about 2,400 members from around the world and dates to 1754. The clubhouse is among the most famous buildings in golf, overlooking the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Even though Augusta National in the USA, went 80 years without a female member, it had no policy that barred women from joining. The R&A had such a policy, and that’s what will be voted on in September. The R&A have stated they feel no pressure from any of its corporate sponsors, who were subjected to the debate at the British Open. The 2,400-member club and the group that runs The Open are separate entities.
For years, the men-only Royal & Ancient was in charge of the Rules of Golf for every country in the world except for the United States and Mexico, which are governed by the USGA. And it operated the British Open, the oldest championship in golf. Ten years ago, the administrative duties were split off into a corporate structure that is called “The R&A”. That’s the group in charge of the Rules of Golf and organizing The Open and other R&A championships.Credit for story goes to Contra Costa Times