The membership of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has voted overwhelmingly in favour of welcoming women members for the first time.
More than three quarters of the club’s 2,500 global members took part in the September 18 ballot, with a decisive 85% voting for women to become members.
“This vote has immediate effect and I can confirm that The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is now a mixed membership club,” said Peter Dawson, Secretary of the Club.
“The membership has also acted to fast-track a significant initial number of women to become members in the coming months.
“This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. 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 vote comes two years after Augusta National, site of the US Masters, changed its policy on women members, admitting Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members.
The results were welcomed by the industry’s top bodies.
“This decision is certainly a step in the right direction and one that better captures the current diversity and inclusiveness of our great game,” said a statement by the LPGA.
In addition, The PGA of America welcomed the announcement
“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.”
Inside Golf, too, welcomes the decision, and congratulates the membership of the Royal and Ancient on their decision.