British golf venue with men-only policy to vote on admitting women
Royal Troon, the only British Open Championship venue to have a men-only policy, is to decide on July 1 whether it should admit women members for the first time, it announced yesterday.
The Scottish club, due to host this year’s Open in mid-July, said it has brought forward a proposed vote among its all-male membership.The move has been prompted by another Scottish golf course, Muirfield, being dropped from the Open circuit after narrowly voting against allowing women members.
That decision in May caused leaders, including Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, condemning the Muirfield decision as indefensible.
Royal Troon in Ayrshire had been due to ballot members later in the year, after this year’s Open.
A recent survey among members shows there is likely to be a majority yes vote in July.
Founded in 1878 by a small group of golf enthusiasts, Troon is widely accepted as the most demanding of any course on the Championship rota.
“A detailed consultation programme with members found that opening the club to women members is supported by over three-quarters of the members who participated in the club’s survey,” the club said in a statement.
Club captain Martin Cheyne said: “We will propose that the constitution of the club is changed to allow women members to join on exactly the same basis as the men.”
Last year, members at the Royal St George’s golf club voted to admit women members, leaving just Muirfield and Royal Troon as the last two to cling onto the rule.
With Muirfield being dropped by the championship organisers on the day it ruled out women, the debate switched to Royal Troon where a decision had originally been expected around December.
• Culled from www.news.xinhuanet.com