Royal and Ancient vote ‘yes’ on women members

The Royal and Ancient golf club has agreed overwhelmingly in favour of allowing women golfers to become members on Thursday – ending 260 years of male-only inclusion.

The club’s 2,400 worldwide members voted in person as well as via proxy and postal votes. They were encouraged to register their votes by chief executive Peter Dawson and the clubs committees, with more than 75 percent taking part and 85 in favour of the change.

"This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club," Dawson said in statement.

"The R&A has served the sport of golf well for 260 years and I am confident that the club will continue to do so in future with the support of all its members, both women and men."

The move has also been welcomed by Helen Grant, Britain’s minister for sport, who said: "I am pleased that the members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club have voted in favor of admitting women members.

"This is positive news for the sport and I hope we will now see other golf clubs that still have outdated same sex policies follow suit.

"With golf in the next Olympics there is a huge opportunity for the sport to grow and this sends out the right inclusive message that golf is for everyone."

Ted Bishop, president of the PGA of America has been very positive towards the move, saying in a statement: "Women have played and will continue to play an integral role in the game of golf. In fact, women represent the biggest growth market in the sport, and every step to make golf more inclusive is good for the game.

"The PGA of America is thrilled that the R&A is welcoming women into its organization, and loudly applauds its decision."