An end to the Open Championship being staged at clubs with a male-only membership policy is in sight after Royal St George’s voted to allow women members.
Along with Muirfield and Royal Troon, Royal St George’s had been one of the three courses on the Open rota to have a male-only policy, but that has changed with immediate effect following a recent vote.
A statement from the club released to the Press Association read: “The Royal St George’s Golf Club is pleased to announce that, following an extraordinary general meeting held on 14th February 2015 and a subsequent ballot of the full members of the club, a resolution to alter the club’s rules to make ladies eligible for membership has been duly passed.
“Under the club’s rules, the resolution would only be passed if it obtained the support of three-quarters of the votes cast on the ballot. More than 81 per cent of the full members took part in the ballot and a decisive 90 per cent voted in favour of ladies being eligible for membership.
“The alteration of the club’s rules has immediate effect and the club looks forward to welcoming ladies as junior and full members.”
Royal St George’s, which last staged the Open in 2011 when it was won by Darren Clarke, has no plans to “fast-track” women into the club and said that they will have to join the waiting list in the usual manner. However, girls may be able to join the junior section more quickly.
Muirfield, which is owned and run by The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, is reviewing its membership criteria. It told the Press Association on Wednesday that consultation with members was ongoing and a spring review of the information gathered remained on schedule.
Troon has always considered itself a special case as it shares facilities with the Ladies Golf Club, Troon.
However, the club announced in January its intention to undertake a ‘comprehensive review’ of its membership policy while also stating it will share the responsibility of hosting the Open in 2016 with the Ladies’ Club, with the formation of a joint Championship Committee.
Royal St George’s www.royalstgeorges.com